One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An African secret society originating among the Kikuyu that in the 1950s used violence and terror to try to expel European settlers and end British rule in Kenya. The British eventually subdued the organization, but went on to institute political and social reforms which led to Kenya's independence in 1963.
- 1.1US informal as verb, with object Terrorize or threaten (someone)‘the group mau-maus the white coats of the medical establishment’
strike terror in, strike terror into, fill with terror, scare, frighten, terrify, petrifyView synonyms
- ‘Indeed, the real problem, one might say, was the campaign's susceptibility to mau-mauing and aggressively proffered free-advice from pundits and other Democrats.’
- ‘If any thin-skinned adolescent can mau-mau his educators into avoiding any subject that fails to reinforce his own prejudices, universities will be engaged in the antithesis of teaching.’
- ‘Is this just a case of the Post being overly sensitive to White House mau-mauing?’
- ‘I thought mau-mauing the Times was all the rage these days.’
- ‘Bloggers will continue to mau-mau the mainstream media in the hopes of being able to sell out and be co-opted by an establishment media company.’
- 1.1US informal as verb, with object Terrorize or threaten (someone)
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