"top story under the roof of a house," by 1807, shortened from attic story (1724). Attic in classical architecture meant "a small, square decorative column of the type often used in a low story above a building's main facade," a feature associated with the region around Athens (see Attic). The word then was applied by architects to "a low decorative facade above the main story of a building" (1690s in English), and it then came to mean the space enclosed by such a structure. The modern use is via French attique. "An attic is upright, a garret is in a sloping roof" [Weekley].