One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The ritual washing of parts of the body before prayer or handling the Qur'an; = "woodoo".
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Paul Rycaut (1629–1700), diplomat and author. From Ottoman Turkish abdest (Turkish abdest) and (in later use) its etymon Persian ābdast from āb water + dast hand, forearm.
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