Nares defined grimalkin as “a fiend, supposed to resemble a grey cat.” Skeat said that Nares was probably right. The OED agreed with Nares and Skeat, and so did Charles Scott, the etymology editor of The Century Dictionary and the author of several detailed essays on devilry.

Anatoly Liberman on the origins of the words grimalkin and gremlin, and how they are related.
Image credit: Britishblue, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Nares defined grimalkin as “a fiend, supposed to resemble a grey cat.” Skeat said that Nares was probably right. The OED agreed with Nares and Skeat, and so did Charles Scott, the etymology editor of The Century Dictionary and the author of several detailed essays on devilry.

Anatoly Liberman on the origins of the words grimalkin and gremlin, and how they are related.

Image credit: Britishblue, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.