This is from a book "Sophie Kinsella" by Mini Shopaholic. It said:
"A mother in J Brand skinny jeans with an impeccably dressed daughter walks past, giving me the Mummy Once-Over, and I flinch. Since I had Minnie, I've learned that the Mummy Once-Over is even more savage than the Manhattan Once-Over. In the Mummy Once-Over, they don't just assess and price your clothes to the nearest penny in one sweeping glance. Oh no. They also take in your child's clothes, pram brand, nappy bag, snack choice, and whether your child is smiling, snotty, or screaming. Which I know is a lot to take in, in a one-second glance, but believe me, mothers are multitaskers."
Let me start with "once-over". In fact, its meaning has been stated in "...in one sweeping glance". I like to explain it with simpler English sentences:
The paper got a once-over before he turned it in.
I saw him giving me the once-over = I saw him looking at me.
I gave the menu the once-over.
With the above sentences, and from the original statement
"giving me the mummy once-over" means
"giving me the once-over" or
"looking at me" or
"looking at the mummy".
In a word, "mummy once-over" means "have a quick glance or examination at mummy". Here "mummy" is the person who made the statement, because she is a mummy (mother), instead of using "giving me the once-over", she use "giving the mummy once-over".
Since you only ask about "mummy once-over", so I just focus on this part and nothing else. Hopefully, this explanation is understandable.
2012-01-29 04:35:51 補充：
Thank you for the encouragement, LionEnglish!
2012-01-29 04:36:14 補充：
more in opinion!
2012-01-29 04:39:01 補充：
To have deeper understanding: Here, "over" is like "look over" or "go over". However, with "look" or "go" in it, it will make the phrase a little more serious, so it got omitted to emphasize as a brief sense (like a dragonfly fly over the water).
2012-01-29 04:39:58 補充：
"once" here is just to emphasize the "over". It makes not only it is brief but also it is just once.