One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of, relating to, or living on Mount Ida, either (a) a mountain in Asia Minor near ancient Troy; or (b) the chief mountain in Crete, in some versions of Greek mythology the birthplace of Zeus.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Edmund Spenser (?1552–1599), poet and administrator in Ireland. From classical Latin Īdaeus and its etymon ancient Greek Ἰδαῖος (from Ἴδη Ida (classical Latin Īda, Īdē), the name of a mountain in Asia Minor near ancient Troy (Turkish Kaz Dağı) and of the chief mountain in Crete + -αῖος, suffix forming adjectives) + -an.
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