One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1In Christian use, applied to those chosen by God for salvation (the elect); also to the members of the Christian Church, or of a particular Christian sect or denomination, regarded as such.
2Applied to the Jewish people.
3Usually in form Peculiar People. (The members of) an evangelical Christian denomination founded in Essex in 1838 and rejecting medicine in favour of faith healing. Now historical.
Early 16th century; earliest use found in Robert Fabyan (d. 1513), chronicler. From peculiar + people.
peculiar people/pɪˌkjuːlɪə ˈpiːpl/
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