Today marked a first: looking up a word in an article from The Economist. I’ve been reading it for about
forty-five years, always without recourse to dictionaries. The following context was adequate to suggest the meaning,
but I looked it up to confirm.
In theory, he will be answerable to Jeff Sessions, the attorney-general, yet the fact that Mr Sessions has recused himself from playing any role in the Russian investigation—after he was also revealed to have kept weirdly shtum about meetings with the same Russian diplomat, Sergey Kislyak—is an additional guarantee of Mr Mueller’s independence.
Oxford offers this-
‘He kept shtum about the fact that he was sent down for fraud’
1950s: Yiddish, from German stumm.
My question is simple. Is this widely used in print and/or speech on either side of the pond?