One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A member of a Manichaean sect (condemned as heretical by a council held at Rome in 367) which held that God made the higher parts of the body and Satan the lower ones. Usually in plural.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in Reginald Pecock (c1392–?1459), bishop of Chichester and religious author. From post-classical Latin Paterniani, plural: see -ian.
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