asperges (n.)

sprinkling ritual of the Catholic church, also an antiphon intoned or sung during this, 1550s, from Late Latin asperges, noun use of second-person singular future indicative of Latin aspergere "to scatter, strew upon, sprinkle," from ad "to" (see ad-) + spargere "to sprinkle" (see sparse).

The word is taken from the phrase Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor, from the 51st Psalm (Vulgate), sung during the rite of sprinkling a congregation with holy water. Old English used onstregdan as a loan-translation of Latin aspergere.

updated on September 26, 2022