You see, my friend the Recyclist was there, since she's in the UK for a month, mixing with my UK friends who kept saying things like After lunch we could go mooch round the shops. So, after figuring out what they meant, she explained the meaning of mooch in AmE, and somehow by Sunday it seemed that every tenth sentence had mooch in it.
The OED defines the BrE sense as 'to loaf, skulk, sneak' or 'an act of skulking, loafing, scrounging'. In AmE, I might use scrounge in this sense, though it seems more negative than mooch. Another AmE possibility is troll, as in:
Does this reporter just troll around town looking for the hot cockroach stories? (from comments in Dave Barry's blog)The more common sense of mooch in AmE is (from the OED): 'To sponge on or off a person; to go about scrounging.' The noun form of this may be mooch or moocher. The OED doesn't mark the verb sense as AmE, though it didn't seem very familiar to my fellow hens, but the noun sense ('a beggar, a scrounger') is marked as Chiefly U.S.. The verb can be used transitively as well, as in:
If you're running in the shoes you had before Brangelina, or kickboxing in the same pink Pumas you troll the mall in, it's time for a new pair my friend. (from Mommies with Style)
Can I mooch some of your chips (AmE: French fries)?This sense of mooch, in fact this sentence of mooch, was used with gusto by speakers of every dialect when Sunday lunch came (a)round. Upon learning this sense of mooch, my BrE-speaking friends claimed to have 'a-ha!' moments concerning the song Minnie the Moocher, but the lyrics to the song do not make a lot of her mooching.
Thanks to my lovelylovely friends for a lovelylovely weekend!