malkin

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Diminutive of Malde, an early form of Maude or Matilda. Compare grimalkin.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

malkin (plural malkins)

  1. (now archaic, regional) A lower-class or uncultured woman; a kitchenmaid; a slattern. [from 13th c.]
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chaucer to this entry?)
  2. (now regional) A mop, especially one used to clean a baker's oven. [from 15th c.]
    • 1662, Henry More, An Antidote Against Atheism, Book III, A Collection of Several Philosophical Writings of Dr. Henry More, p. 120:
      "She had no sooner said so, but they all vanished saving onely one Peter Grospetter, whom a little after she saw snatch'd up into the aire, and to let fall his Maulkin (a stick that they make clean Ovens withall) and her self was also driven so forcibly with the wind, that it made her almost Lose her breath."
  3. (obsolete, nautical) A mop or sponge attached to a jointed staff for swabbing out a cannon. [19th c.]
  4. (now archaic, regional) A scarecrow. [from 16th c.]
  5. (now rare) A cat. [from 17th c.]
    • 1946, Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan
      Now she was strong enough to walk and watch them circling in the sky or to sit in the arbour at the end of the long lawn and, with the sunlight smouldering in her dark-red hair and lying wanly over the area of her face and neck, watch the multiform and snow-white convolutions of her malkins.
  6. (Scotland, Northern England) A hare. [from 18th c.]
    • 1982, TC Boyle, Water Music, Penguin 2006, p. 158:
      There was milk punch and spiced whisky, a smell of goose and maukin roasting on the spit.

Translations[edit]