One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
adjectiveEnglish Regional, East Anglian
1Of a place or time, or of the weather: damp and cold, bleak.
2Musty, sour-smelling; (of food, especially bacon) stale, rancid.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in William Gurnall (d. 1679), Church of England clergyman. Origin unknown. Perhaps compare earlier reasty, reasy, resty, reesed, although the nature of any relationship is unclear. Perhaps compare also later raft.
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