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date: 02 December 2021


Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage
Jeremy ButterfieldJeremy Butterfield

From the 16c. onwards ablution(s) has been used for the process of washing the body, or parts of the body, as a religious rite. The word was drawn into lay use in the 18c. as a somewhat lighthearted term for ‘the washing or cleansing of one’s person’, and continues to be used humorously in that way, particularly in the phrase ... ...

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