Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A kitchen servant, or any common woman; a slattern.
  • noun Maid Marian, the lady of the morris-dance.
  • noun A stuffed figure; a caricature of a woman in dress and general appearance; a scarecrow.
  • noun A cat. Compare grimalkin. :
  • noun A hare.
  • noun A mop; especially, a mop used to clean a baker's oven.
  • noun In gunnery, a jointed staff with a sponge at one end, used for cleaning out cannon.
  • noun The little grebe or dabchick.
  • Of or pertaining to a malkin or kitchen-wench.

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

  • noun Originally, a kitchenmaid; a slattern.
  • noun A mop made of clouts, used by the kitchen servant.
  • noun Prov. Eng. A scarecrow.
  • noun (Mil.) A mop or sponge attached to a jointed staff for swabbing out a cannon.

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

  • noun archaic a lower-class or uncultured woman; a kitchenmaid; a slattern
  • noun archaic a cat
  • noun archaic a mop, especially one used to clean a baker's oven.
  • noun archaic, military A mop or sponge attached to a jointed staff for swabbing out a cannon.
  • noun archaic A scarecrow.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

Examples

Comments

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  • See also merkin.

    1. A typical name (usu. derogatory) for: a lower-class, untidy, or sluttish woman, esp. a servant or country girl. In Scotland: an awkward or ungainly young girl. Also in various proverbial expressions, esp. there are more maids than Malkin (obs.).

    2. The female genitals.

    3. An impotent or effeminate man; a weakling.

    4. A mop; a bundle of rags fastened to the end of a stick, esp. for cleaning out a baker's oven. regional in later use.

    5. Nautical. A sponge attached to a jointed pole, used for cleaning out ships' guns. Obsolete.

    6. A scarecrow; a ragged puppet or grotesque effigy; a guy.

    7. As a designation for certain animals (sometimes as if a proper name). A cat, e.g. "Grimalkin." Obsolete.

    8. Sc. and Eng. regional (north.). A hare.

    Wow, how many different things can one weird word mean?

    February 16, 2007

  • "And speaking o' cats, gray malkins hunt through the forest as well." Cecilia Dart-Thornton; The Battle of Evernight; Aspect; 2003.

    I hope this doesn't refer to definition 2. Talk about weird....

    February 16, 2007

  • It's a variant spelling of greymalkin.

    AmHer sez: grimalkin

    1. A cat, especially an old female cat. 2. An old woman considered to be ill-tempered.

    ETYMOLOGY: Variant of graymalkin : gray + obsolete malkin, lower-class woman; see merkin.

    May 18, 2007

  • Also spelled maulkin.

    September 5, 2008

  • There was a character in the first Harry Potter book who ran a robe shop in Diagon Alley that was named this.

    July 11, 2012