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Origin of the “Big Mahoff”

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Doug in Madison, Wisconsin, remembers that when he was growing up in Philadelphia, his dad used the phrase the big mahoff to refer to someone important. This term that means “the big boss” or “the big cheese,” is largely localized to Philadelphia, although despite lots of inquiry and hypotheses involving everything from mobsters to champion bridge players, its origin remains unknown. This is part of a complete episode.

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