One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A back door or gate; specifically a portico or apartment at the back of an ancient Greek or Roman temple, behind the cella, and corresponding to the pronaos in front.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in John Harris (c1666–1719), writer and lecturer on science. From classical Latin postīcum back door, rear portico of a temple, use as noun of neuter of postīcus situated at the back, rear.
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