- A knave who will take a taste of his master’s food, eating the best parts himself and leaving behind the least desirable bits for his master.
- One who is greedy for gifts; a sycophant.
- A mounch-present is he that is a great gentleman, for when his mayster sendeth him with a present, he will take a tast thereof by the way. This is a bold knaue, that sometyme will eate the best and leaue the worst for his mayster.
(Fraternity of Vagabonds by John Awdely published in 1565)
Mounch, obsolete form of “munch” from Middle English “monchen” probably echoic alteration of “mangen” (to feast) from Old French “manger” from Classical Latin “manducare”.
Present from Old French “present” and Medieval Latin “presentia” from phrases such as French “en present” (to offer in the presence of) “mettre en present” (place before, give) from Late Latin “inpraesent” (face to face) from Latin “in re praesenti” (in the situation in question) from “praesens” (being there) in the sense of "bringing something into someone's presence.”
Used in a sentence:
“I finally caught that little mounch-present on surveillance and I’m firing him as soon as he gets back to the office!”
(from the Grandiloquent Word of the Day FB page)