"of a color between white and black; having little or no color or luminosity," Old English græg "gray" (Mercian grei), from Proto-Germanic *grewa- "gray" (source also of Old Norse grar, Old Frisian gre, Middle Dutch gra, Dutch graw, Old High German grao, German grau), with no certain connections outside Germanic. French gris, Spanish gris, Italian grigio, Medieval Latin griseus are Germanic loan-words. The spelling distinction between British grey and U.S. gray developed 20c. Expression the gray mare is the better horse in reference to households ruled by wives is recorded from 1540s.
also mawkin, late 13c., a jocular or contemptuous term for a servant-woman or kitchen-servant, a woman of the lower classes, or a slattern, a loose woman; from the fem. proper name Malkyn, a diminutive of Mault "Maud" (see Matilda). It also is attested from c. 1200 as the proper name of a female specter. Sense of "untidy woman" probably led to the extended meaning "mop, bundle of rags on a stick" (used to clean ovens, artillery pieces, etc.), c. 1400.
Attested as the name of a cat since 1670s (earlier as Grimalkin, late 16c.); compare Serbo-Croatian mačka "cat," originally a pet-name form of Maria. Also used in Scotland and northern England as the name of a hare (1724).
MALKINTRASH. One in dismal garb. [Grose, "Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," London, 1785]
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Harper, D. (n.d.). Etymology of grimalkin. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved $(datetime), from https://www.etymonline.com/word/grimalkin