One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Passover; the Passover feast.
2Christian Church. The festival of Easter.
Old English; earliest use found in Byrhtferð of Ramsey (fl. c986–c1016), Benedictine monk and scholar. Originally from post-classical Latin pascha; subsequently reinforced by Anglo-Norman and Old French pasche, paske, pask from post-classical Latin pascha Passover, Passover lamb, Passover meal (Vetus Latina), Easter (late 2nd cent. in Tertullian) from Hellenistic Greek πάσχα Passover, Passover lamb, Passover meal (Septuagint, New Testament), Easter (Christian writers from the 2nd cent. a.d.) from Aramaic pisḥā Passover fesival, Passover sacrifice, Passover meal (emphatic form of pasaḥ to pass over; compare Syriac peṣḥā Passover, Easter, reinterpreted by folk etymology as an emphatic form of pṣaḥ to rejoice) from Hebrew pesaḥ Passover from pāsaḥ to pass or spring over (Exodus 12:13, etc.). Compare post-biblical Hebrew pisĕḥā Passover, modern Hebrew pasĕḥā Easter (both influenced by Aramaic).
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