Word Origin & History
1382, "righteous in the eyes of God, upright and impartial," from O.Fr. just, from L. justus "upright, equitable," from jus (gen. juris) "right," especially "legal right, law," from O.Latin ious, perhaps lit. "sacred formula," a word peculiar to Latin (not general Italic) that originated in the religious
cults, from PIE base *yewes- (cf. Avestan yaozda- "make ritually pure;" see jurist
). The more mundane L. law-word lex covered specific laws as opposed to the body of laws
"merely, barely," 1665, from M.E. sense of "exactly, punctually" (c.1400), from just
(adj.). Just-so story first attested 1902 in Kipling.