One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of or relating to sheep; specifically (frequently with capital initial) designating the pool in Jerusalem which was the site of the miracle recorded in John 5:2 (when Jesus healed a man who had been lame for thirty-eight years).
Late Middle English; earliest use found in John Lydgate (c1370–c1449), poet and prior of Hatfield Regis. From post-classical Latin probaticus of or relating to sheep (Vetus Latina, Vulgate) from Hellenistic Greek προβατικός belonging to sheep from ancient Greek πρόβατον a sheep + -ικός. Compare Middle French, French probatique, Catalan probàtic, Spanish probática, Portuguese probático, Italian probatico.
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