One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
First fruits or first produce; specifically = "annate" Now chiefly historical and figurative.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Edmund Spenser (?1552–1599), poet and administrator in Ireland. From classical Latin prīmitiae, prīmiciae (plural) first-fruits, first offering, beginnings, probably from prīmitus at first, originally (from prīmus + -tus, suffix forming adverbs), or perhaps from prī before + the base of metere to reap + -iae, plural of -ia, the idea of beginning having developed subsequently.
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