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Generally considered to derive from Dutch, although a specific etymon in unclear. Century and some other old dictionaries derive it from a confusion of two similar Dutch words, namely *mallemerok (foolish woman) (from malle (foolish) + *marok, from French marotte (jester's sceptre)) and *mallemok (sailor of a whaling vessel), but the first of those words is not attested, and the second is not attested with the claimed meaning (but see mollymawk). Compare mallemolen.


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mallemaroking (uncountable)

  1. (historical, nautical) Carousing on icebound Greenland whaling ships.
    • 1958, Punch, volume 235, page 319:
      "Just because I had one gin before and a couple of glasses of claret during you thought I'd been mallemaroking."
    • 2006, Katrin Maria Kohl, ‎Ritchie Robertson, A History of Austrian Literature 1918-2000, page 243:
      [] they were willing to endure so much physical hardship out of loyalty to Emperor Franz Joseph. Indeed, such is their sense of duty that they even indulge in some muted mallemaroking to celebrate the Emperor's birthday.


  • 1913 Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, Vol. IX:M-NYMPH; bewerkt door A. Kluyver, A. Lodewyckx, J. Heinsius en J.A.N. Knuttel (’s Gravenhage en Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, A.W. Sijthoff).
  • Mallemaroking at
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