anecdote (n.) Look up anecdote at Dictionary.com
1670s, "secret or private stories," from French anecdote (17c.) or directly from Medieval Latin anecdota, from Greek anekdota "things unpublished," neuter plural of anekdotos, from an- "not" (see an- (1)) + ekdotos "published," from ek- "out" (see ex-) + didonai "to give," from PIE root *dō- "to give" (see date (n.1)).

Procopius' 6c. Anecdota, unpublished memoirs of Emperor Justinian full of court gossip, gave the word a sense of "revelation of secrets," which decayed in English to "brief, amusing story" (1761).