[no object] To celebrate uproariously, rejoice extravagantly, especially on an occasion of national celebration (originally the relief of the British garrison besieged in Mafeking (now Mafikeng), South Africa, in May 1900). In later use usually with pejorative connotations.
maffick /ˈmæfɪk/v. intrans.Rare exc. hist.
Origin: Back-formation fr. Mafeking (now Mafikeng), a town besieged by Boer soldiers during the Anglo-Boer War.
To celebrate in a boisterous and jubilant manner.
First used in Brit. Eng. of the celebration of the relief of Mafikeng in London in 1900.
1900Pall Mall Gaz. (U.K.) 21 May 2We trust Cape Town..will ‘maffick’ today, if we may coin a word, as we at home did on Friday and Saturday.
1901W.S. SutherlandS. Afr. Sketches 34Of course we ‘Mafficked’ with the best of them when the news came. In a small way, we considered ourselves comrades with our good friends in Mafeking — brother-besieged, so to speak.
1904‘Saki’ in76 Short Stories (1956) Mother, may I go and maffick, Tear around and hinder traffic?
S. CloeteRags of Glory
307The [Mafeking] siege of seven months was over, and all England was in an uproar. London had gone mad and the verb ‘to maffick’ was born.
1977J. Podbrey inQuarry ’77 115This was my night for stopping traffic,..This was my time to roar and maffick.
1980S. Afr. Panorama
Dec. 23The Tswanas were mafficking (celebrating uproariously), as had the British 80 years previously in London when they first heard of the Relief of Mafeking.
1991S. Clarke‘Vanity Fair’ in S. Afr. 190Mafeking was finally relieved on 17 May 1900 by a combined force...Rejoicing continued for two days, and a new word describing frenzied jubilation — to ‘maffick’ — was added to the English language.
Hence maffickn., a boisterous celebration; maffickern., one who celebrates in a boisterous manner; maffickingvbl n., riotous celebration.
1902Westminster Gaz. (U.K.) 4 June 7The Peace ‘maffick’ has not yet been completely worked off.
1902Daily Chron. (U.K.) 9 July 6We have no wish to advocate the hysteria of which the name is ‘mafficking.’
1910Blackwood’s Mag. (U.K.) July 9The ‘Mafficker’ may hereafter come within sight of the enemy.
D. Grinnell-MilneBaden-Powell at Mafeking
218The verb ‘to maffick’, the noun ‘mafficking’ were presently coined and thrust hastily into the dictionary to reprehend hooliganism and to denounce the ‘noisy rejoicing of the mob’.
22 Jan. 8There is..no mention here of ‘mafficking’ — a word widely used up to and during World War II to describe riotous rejoicings like those that followed the relief of Mafeking in 1900.
G. Zwirn inSettler
Vol.65No.2, 10A linguistic curiosity from the time of the Boer War is mafficking...London newspapers seized upon the gerund suggested by ‘Mafeking’ and, by changing the spelling, produced mafficking. Then, as now, the meaning is extravagant or excessive jubilation.