One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of or belonging to the ancient region of Marmarica on the North African coast (now in eastern Libya, around Tobruk).
Late Middle English; earliest use found in Geoffrey Chaucer (c1340–1400), poet and administrator. From classical Latin Marmaricus of or belonging to Marmarica, African from Hellenistic Greek Μαρμαρικός of or belonging to Marmarica, a region of North Africa between Egypt and Cyrenaica, probably from Μαρμαρ-, of unknown origin (perhaps from an African language) + -ικός.
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