One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1In extended use: placed in an extremely hazardous position or situation; (of a case or situation) desperate; lost. Now rare.
Late 16th century (in an earlier sense). From Middle French perdu lost, perished (980 in Old French; French perdu, feminine perdue), past participle of perdre from classical Latin perdere; chiefly after Middle French, French sentinelle perdue.
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