from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To rejoice or celebrate with boisterous public demonstrations.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A particular act of mafficking. See maffick, v.
  • To give way to a frenzy of enthusiasm; celebrate a victory with a delirious uproar.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb Chiefly Brit. to celebrate publicly with boisterous rejoicing and hilarious and extravagant behavior.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive To celebrate in a boisterous manner.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[After Mafeking, South Africa, town with a British garrison besieged for 217 days during the Boer War whose relief (May 17, 1900) was celebrated in London.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Back-formation from Mafeking punningly treated as a present participle, from the celebrations in London after the relief of Mafeking during the Boer War.


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  • Nor have they the fine American hand for devising new verbs; to maffick, to limehouse, to strafe and to wangle are their best specimens in twenty years, and all have an almost pathetic flatness.

    Chapter 6. Tendencies in American. 3. Processes of Word-Formation Henry Louis 1921

  • From the relief of Mafikeng in 1900 came a new word: to maffick, which means to celebrate unduly.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed 2010

  • From the relief of Mafikeng in 1900 came a new word: to maffick, which means to celebrate unduly.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed 2010

  • Of course you'll say there would be no traffic worth bothering about on the bare and sun-scorched veldt, but there's no other word that rhymes with maffick. "

    Reginald 1870-1916 Saki 1893


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  • to celebrate in an exuberant, unrestrained manner

    October 12, 2007

  • The Boer War ended with the absorption of the independent Boer republics into the British Empire, but it began with the British on the receiving end of a terrible shock: their invincible troops were unable to prevent the insurgent Boers from invading Cape Colony and Natal Colony in late 1899 and successfully besieging the towns of Mafeking (now Mafikeng) and Kimberley. Food became very scarce, and attempted relief expeditions were wiped out in a series of terrible British defeats. It wasn't until May 17 of the following year that Mafeking (defended, incidentally, by troops under the command of Colonel Robert Baden-Powell—yes, the same Baden-Powell, pronounced BAY-d'n POE-'l, who later founded the Boy Scouts) was successfully relieved, and when the news reached London the next evening the city erupted in wild celebration which went on for days. The similarity in sound between the name of the town and an English present participle was irresistible, and soon the celebration was called "mafficking" (the first citation in the OED is from the Pall Mall Gazette of 21 May: "We trust Cape Town.. will ‘maffick’ to-day, if we may coin a word, as we at home did on Friday and Saturday"). The earlier edition of the OED said "The words appear to be confined to journalistic use," but they've withdrawn that statement in the March 2000 draft revision of the entry, and with good reason: the word is so much fun that people have kept using it long after the siege has faded into the farther reaches of historical memory.


    October 14, 2007

  • Wow! That description makes me want to maffick.

    October 14, 2007