Etymology
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ma 

childish or colloquial shortening of mamma, by 1823. "Also applied colloq. to a middle-aged or elderly woman, esp. one in authority" [OED].

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mah-jongg (n.)

tile-based game originally from China, 1922, from dialectal Chinese (Shanghai) ma chiang, name of the game, literally "sparrows," from ma "hemp" + chiang "little birds." The game so called from the design of the pieces. It had a vogue in Europe and the U.S. 1922-23 and for a time threatened to supplant bridge in popularity.

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madrasah (n.)

Islamic college, school for religious education of youth, 1620s, from Arabic madrasah, literally "a place of study," from locative prefix ma- + stem of darasa "he read repeatedly, he studied," which is related to Hebrew darash (compare midrash "biblical interpretation").

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mademoiselle 

mid-15c., madamoisell, title applied to an unmarried Frenchwoman, formerly in France the title of any woman not of the nobility, from French mademoiselle (12c.), from a compound of ma dameisele (see damsel), literally "young mistress." Contracted form ma'amselle is attested from 1794, mamsell by 1842.

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madonna (n.)

1580s, Italian title of address or courtesy, equivalent to madam; from c. 1600 as a noun, "an Italian lady," from Italian madonna, from Old Italian ma donna (Italian mia donna) "my lady," from ma "my" + donna "lady," from Latin domina "lady, mistress of the house," from Latin domus "house" (from PIE root *dem- "house, household").

Often specifically "the Virgin Mary," hence the sense of "picture or statue of the Virgin Mary," attested in English by 1640s. The U.S. singer/dancer (full name Madonna Louise Ciccone, b. 1958) attained to pop stardom in the fall of 1984.

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manana 

from Spanish mañana, "tomorrow," from cras manñana, literally "tomorrow early," from Vulgar Latin *maneana "early," from Latin mane "in the morning," from PIE *ma- "good," with notion of "occurring at a good time, timely, early" (compare matins; and see mature (v.)). "Often taken as a synonym of easy-going procrastination said to be found in Spanish-speaking countries" [OED].

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may (v.1)

Old English mæg "am able" (infinitive magan, past tense meahte, mihte), from Proto-Germanic root *mag-, infinitive *maganan (Old Frisian mei/muga/machte "have power, may;" Old Saxon mag/mugan/mahte; Middle Dutch mach/moghen/mohte; Dutch mag/mogen/mocht; Old High German mag/magan/mahta; German mag/mögen/mochte; Old Norse ma/mega/matte; Gothic mag/magan/mahte "to be able"), from PIE root *magh- "to be able, have power." A present-preterit verb (with can, shall, etc.). Also used in Old English as a "auxiliary of prediction."

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mattress (n.)

c. 1300, materas, "a bed consisting of a bag filled with soft and elastic material and usually tacked at short intervals to prevent the contents from slipping," from Old French materas (12c., Modern French matelas), from Italian materasso and directly from Medieval Latin matracium, borrowed in Sicily from medieval Arabic al-matrah "(the) large cushion or rug for lying on" (also source of Spanish almadraque "mattress," Provençal and Catalan-Latin almatrac), literally "the thing thrown down," from taraha "he threw (down)" with noun prefix ma-. In Middle English also materace, matrasse, etc.,; the modern spelling is attested by early 15c.

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water (n.2)

measure of quality of a diamond, c. 1600, from water (n.1), perhaps as a translation of Arabic ma' "water," which also is used in the sense "luster, splendor."

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madam 

c. 1300, formal term of address to a lady (a woman of rank or authority, or the mistress of a household), from Old French ma dame, literally "my lady," from Latin mea domina (see Donna, and compare madonna). It became a conventional term of address to women of any degree (but chiefly to the married and matronly); also "a woman of fashion or pretension" (often with a suggestion of disparagement) by 1590s. From 1719 as "a courtesan, a prostitute;" the meaning "female owner or manager of a brothel" is attested by 1871.

The title of Madam is sometimes given here, and generally in Charleston (S. Carolina), and in the South, to a mother whose son has married, and the daughter-in-law is then called Mrs. By this means they avoid the inelegant phraseology of old Mrs. A., or the Scotch, Mrs. A senior. [Sir Charles Lyell, "A Second Visit to the United States of North America," 1849]
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