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Meaning & History
From the Middle English personal name Pain(e), Payn(e) (Old French Paien, from Latin Paganus), introduced to Britain by the Normans. The Latin name is a derivative of pagus "outlying village", and meant at first a person who lived in the country (as opposed to Urbanus "city dweller"), then a civilian as opposed to a soldier, and eventually a heathen (one not enrolled in the army of Christ). This remained a popular name throughout the Middle Ages, but it died out in the 16th century.