Mafia facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

The Mafia is a crime group working in many parts of the world that was created in Italy more than 200 years ago. The mafia makes money from crime. They make billions of dollars a year from such crimes as making and selling illegal drugs, money laundering, from stealing and gambling.

Etymology

The first written use of the word mafia has it being said on a list of rebels against the catholic church it meant "boldness, ambition, pride" and since none of these were considered appropriate for a woman it is the name of a witch. Many people also believe that Arabic affected the word 'mafia' during the period of Arab control of Sicily, after the fall of the Roman Empire in 846 AD. 'Mahias' is an Arab word meaning 'bold man', and this is believed to be incorporated into the modern term mafia, which also suggests the bold and argumentative nature of its constituents.


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