One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An open-topped jar used for cooling wine, typically made of earthenware or metal, with a narrow, high-lipped opening widening to a bulbous central bowl, which tapers to a tall narrow base; (in later use also) a replica piece imitating Greek originals.
Mid 19th century. From ancient Greek ψυκτήρ wine-cooler from ψύχειν to cool, of unknown origin, but distinct from ψύχειν to breathe, blow + -τήρ, suffix forming agent nouns.
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