In Ancient Greek architecture, the attic was the façade on the top of a building, just above the columns and below the roof. Throughout the centuries, these were employed for decorative purposes, or to just make the edifice look taller, but during the Renaissance there began to be entire stories behind those façades, and by the eighteenth century, the definition had shifted to refer to the space behind that wall. The term attic comes from the Attic style of architecture, which was named after Attica, the region surrounding the city of Athens (the Greek version, Attikos, literally means "of Athens"). Finally, the toponym Athens has been traditionally derived from the name of its patron goddess Athena, but it is also possible that it might be from some Pre-Greek word that has long been forgotten.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.