One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In the Franciscan order of friars: a guardian or warden of a house or of a subdivision of a province. Now somewhat rare (chiefly historical).
In Italian contexts: a guardian, a custodian, especially of a public building.
Late Middle English. From (i) Anglo-Norman and Middle French custode guardian, custodian<br>late 18th century; earliest use found in Mary Berry (1763–1852), author. From Italian custode custode.
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