One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A member of a religious body established by 1766 in Delaware and Maryland, United States, holding similar beliefs to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) but advocating a more extreme simplicity of dress and lifestyle.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Maryland Journal. From the name of Joseph Nichols, U.S. farmer and founder of the body + -ite.
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