malkin

[maw-kin, mawl-, mal-]
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:
1200–50; Middle English: literally, little Molly, equivalent to Mal, variant of Molly Mary + -kin

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World English Dictionary
malkin (ˈmɔːkɪn, ˈmɔːl-, ˈmæl-)
 
n
1.  an archaic or dialect name for a cat Compare grimalkin
2.  a variant of mawkin
 
[C13: diminutive of Maud]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

malkin
"a slattern, woman of the lower classes," c.1275, from fem. proper name Malkyn, a dim. of Mault "Maud" (see Matilda). Also attested from c.1207 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. Attested as the name of a cat since 1673; used in Scotland and northern England as the name of a hare (1724).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Malkin notes a source confirmed the engagement to him.
Malkin moves to dismiss the counterclaim on the ground that the pleading fails to state a cause of action.
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