One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A text written on both sides of a papyrus or parchment.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Henry Cockeram (fl. 1623–1658), lexicographer. From Middle French, French opisthographe, † opisthographe, noun and adjective from classical Latin opisthographus written on the back as well as the front, also opisthographum, use as noun of neuter singular of opisthographus, in phrase in opisthographō on the reverse side of a document (2nd cent. a.d.) from Hellenistic Greek ὀπισθόγραϕος from ancient Greek ὀπισθο- + -γραϕος.
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