Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
"new convert," 1550s, from Ecclesiastical Latin neophytus, from Greek neophytos "a new convert," noun use of adjective meaning "newly initiated, newly converted," literally "newly planted," from neos "new" (see new) + phytos "grown; planted," verbal adjective of phyein "cause to grow, beget, plant" (see physic). Church sense is from I Tim. iii:6. Rare before 19c. General sense of "one who is new to any subject" is first recorded 1590s.