One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: †a person who or thing which purges or purifies.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Thomas Becon (1512/13–1567), theologian and Church of England clergyman. From classical Latin pūrgātor cleanser, purifier, in post-classical Latin also compurgator, witness from pūrgāt-, past participial stem of pūrgāre + -or.
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