Large groups of Italian migrant workers, primarily from the south of the country, first arrived in the US due to a US labor shortage.
A result of the US Civil War, the end of slave labor, and the hundreds of thousands killed in the war.
Possible Arabic roots of the word include: The public's association of the word with the criminal secret society was probably inspired by the 1863 play "I mafiusi di la Vicaria" ("The Mafiosi of the Vicaria") by Giuseppe Rizzotto and Gaspare Mosca.
The words Mafia and mafiusi are never mentioned in the play; they were probably put in the title to add a local flair.
A formal definition of "mafia" can be hard to come by.
The term was never officially used by Sicilian mafiosi, who prefer to refer to their organization as "Cosa Nostra".
The word mafia derives from the Sicilian adjective mafiusu, which, roughly translated, means 'swagger', but can also be translated as 'boldness' or 'bravado'.
For other uses, see Mafia (disambiguation).) is a type of organized crime syndicate whose primary activities are protection racketeering, the arbitration of disputes between criminals, and the organizing and oversight of illegal agreements and transactions.
Mafias often engage in secondary activities such as gambling, loan sharking, drug-trafficking, prostitution, and fraud.
This article is about criminal organizations in general commonly referred to as "mafias".
For the original Mafia or the criminal society in Sicily to which the name "Mafia" was first ascribed, see Sicilian Mafia.