Amok

“MENTION has been made of the Malay amok, and, as what, with our happy faculty for mispronunciation and misspelling of the words of other languages, is called “running amuck,” is with many English people their only idea of the Malay, and that a very vague one, it may be of interest to briefly describe this form of homicidal mania. Meng-amok is to make a sudden, murderous attack, and though it is applied to the onslaught of a body of men in war time, or where plunder is the object and murder the means to arrive at it, the term is more commonly used to describe the action of an individual who, suddenly and without apparent cause, seizes a weapon and strikes out blindly, killing and wounding all who come in his way, regardless of age or sex, whether they be friends, strangers, or his own nearest relatives.”

Source:  Malay Sketches by Frank Swettenham.

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