One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Roman festival in honour of the goddess Minerva (19–23 March).
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Lodowick Lloyd (fl. 1573–1607). From classical Latin quinquātria (neuter plural; also quinquātrūs (feminine plural)), the name of the festival; of uncertain origin: the first element may be quīnque five, as the festival began five days (counting inclusively) after the Ides (15 March), or the name may perhaps be of Etruscan origin.
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