One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Roman History. An informer; a person paid to denounce another in a court. Now rare.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Robert Sanderson (1587–1663), bishop of Lincoln. From classical Latin quadruplātor public informer, person who multiplies by four from quadruplāt-, past participial stem of quadruplāre + -or.
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