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"leprous" (adj.); "a leper" (n.); both c.1300, from Old French mesel "wretched, leprous; a wretch," from Latin misellus "wretched, unfortunate," as a noun, "a wretch," in Medieval Latin, "a leper," diminutive of miser "wretched, unfortunate, miserable" (see miser). Also from Latin misellus are Old Italian misello "sick, leprous," Catalan mesell "sick."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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  • Its derivation is the old French word meseau, or mesel, a leper.

    Folk-lore of Shakespeare Thomas Firminger Thiselton-Dyer
  • How the divil am I ever to learn them corkin' big words by mesel'?

    Freckles Gene Stratton-Porter
  • It's a michty quare business, skeeper, an' I dinna a'togither ken it mesel'.

    Captain Calamity

    Rolf Bennett
  • Thinks aw to mesel 'e's a gud naturt chap; aw gues 'e sees as aw'm gettin mi sunday clewus deetud. '

    Lancashire Humour Thomas Newbigging

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