One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In medieval and early modern Spain: a Christianized Jew or (less frequently) Moor, especially one who converted only nominally in order to escape persecution or expulsion.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Edward Grimeston (fl. 1604–1634), translator. From new + Christian, after Spanish cristiano nuevo.
New Christian/ˌnjuː ˈkrɪstʃ(ə)n//ˌnjuː ˈkrɪstɪən/
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