One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1In classical scholarship: works of literature, especially in Greek, not attributed to a particular author. In early use, frequently as a title of collections of anonymous Greek poetry.
2Generally. Anonymous literary works.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Journal Philology. From post-classical Latin adespota anonymous writings, use as noun (short for scripta adespota) of neuter plural of adespotus (also adespotos) anonymous, without owner from ancient Greek ἀδέσποτος without master or owner, in Hellenistic Greek also anonymous from ἀ- + δεσπότης.
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