The noun ecstasy was first used by John Wycliffe in a 1384 Bible translation. He spelled it exstasie; later forms included exstacye, extascie, estasie, exstasy, and extasy, and the modern spelling was standardized in the eighteenth century. Wycliffe borrowed the term from Latin exstasis, which had the same definition and comes from Ancient Greek ekstasis, literally meaning "displacement" (the idea was that someone who feels ecstatic is displaced from the present moment). Ekstasis is composed of the prefix ek-, or "out" (from Proto-Indo-European eghs, also "out"), and the root histanai, which could mean "to place" or "to stand". Finally, that derives from the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction steh, with the same meaning. The nickname for the drug MDMA is from the 1980s; for a while, it was also called Adam, but that name died out.
Adam Aleksic is a sophomore studying linguistics and government at Harvard University. He also has disturbing interests in politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, and law.