One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A monk or nun of the lowest degree in the monastic hierarchy of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
1920s. From modern Greek ρασοϕόρος monk of the lowest degree of the monastic hierarchy in the Eastern Orthodox Church from Byzantine Greek ῥάσον kind of napless woollen cloth, garment made of this cloth, especially monk's outer garment, cassock + ancient Greek -ϕόρος. Compare Russian rjasofor.
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