One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who prepares a corpse for burial, cremation, or embalming, by washing, anointing, etc.; specifically one who is employed to do this; an undertaker.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in William Birnie (1563–1619), Church of Scotland minister. From classical Latin pollinctor person employed to prepare a corpse for funeral from pollinct-, past participial stem of pollingere to wash (a corpse) and prepare it for funeral, of uncertain origin + -or.
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