Criminal Facts About the Mafia

Mafia Meaning 1 of 15

The Mafia is one of the most fascinating and most feared criminal organizations in the world. Read on to learn more about this captivating crime family.

The origins of the word Mafia are not certain, but could come from a couple of different instances, both in medieval Sicily. In the 9th century, Sicily was ruled by Arabs. This theory says that the word mafia could originate from any of several similar sounding Arab words that mean things such as safety, protection and bravado. The second theory comes from later, during the French invasion of Sicily in 1282. A saying the Sicilians used to say was "Morte Alla Francia Italia Anela", which roughly translated to Death to the French is Italy's Cry, and the acronym for the saying was of course MAFIA.