[maw-kin, mawl-, mal-]
See more synonyms for malkin on
noun British Dialect.
  1. an untidy woman; slattern.
  2. a scarecrow, ragged puppet, or grotesque effigy.
  3. a mop, especially one made from a bundle of rags and used to clean out a baker's oven.
  4. a cat.
  5. a hare.
Also mawkin.

Origin of malkin

1200–50; Middle English: literally, little Molly, equivalent to Mal, variant of Molly Mary + -kin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for malkin

Contemporary Examples of malkin

  • The Malkin family, through Malkin Securities, owns 10 million square feet of real estate, including the Empire State Building.

    The Daily Beast logo
    A Candidate Shuns His Family Fortune

    Samuel P. Jacobs

    September 30, 2010

  • Hannity and Malkin can still rant, but somewhere, Jack Murtha is watching, with a smile.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Democrats' Big Gun

    Peter Beinart

    February 12, 2010

  • Today Malkin says this anecdote— highlighted in her Wikipedia entry —has been largely mischaracterized by the mainstream media.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Michelle Malkin Has Feelings, Too

    Lloyd Grove

    September 22, 2009

  • Malkin also likes to get out of her house and do shoe-leather reporting, albeit with ideological intent.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Michelle Malkin Has Feelings, Too

    Lloyd Grove

    September 22, 2009

  • The recipient of occasional death threats, Malkin has twice felt the need to move her family to undisclosed locations.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Michelle Malkin Has Feelings, Too

    Lloyd Grove

    September 22, 2009

Historical Examples of malkin

British Dictionary definitions for malkin


  1. an archaic or dialect name for a cat 1 Compare grimalkin
  2. a variant of mawkin

Word Origin for malkin

C13: diminutive of Maud
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for malkin

also mawkin, "a slattern; woman of the lower classes," late 13c., from fem. proper name Malkyn, a diminutive of Mault "Maud" (see Matilda). Also attested from c.1200 as the proper name of a female specter. Sense of "untidy woman" led to meaning "mop, bundle of rags on a stick" (used to clean ovens, artillery pieces, etc.), c.1400.

MALKINTRASH. One in dismal garb. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]

Attested as the name of a cat since 1670s (perhaps earlier as Grimalkin, 16c.); cf. Serbo-Croatian mačka "cat," originally a pet-name form of Maria. Also used in Scotland and northern England as the name of a hare (1724).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper