One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1US. Any of several varieties of dessert apple, chiefly late-ripening and with a red skin; (formerly especially) = "rambo". Also with distinguishing word. Now rare.
2A Roman Catholic. Compare "Romanist". rare.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in William Coxe. From Roman + -ite. The reason for the use in sense 1 is unclear; it may be related to sense 2, or may reflect a quite different sense of Roman.
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