No dessert after the afikoman? Maybe not:
“Afikoman” clearly comes from Greek, which lent a large vocabulary to the Hebrew that was spoken and written in Palestine in the early centuries C.E. The two words it is generally considered to come from are epi komios, “for a festal procession.” (A komos — a word related to Greek komedia and English “comedy” — was a band of revelers singing and dancing in the streets.)
The explanation given for this is that, in the ancient Mediterranean world, it was common practice after a banquet for the participants to go reveling to other houses for a few more desserts. When the Haggadah says, therefore, “eyn maftirin ah.ar ha-pesah. afikoman,” this is to be translated loosely as, “One does not send off [one’s guests] at the end of the Passover meal to go reveling.” Eventually, however, as Mediterranean culture became Christianized or Islamized, the custom of the komos vanished and Jews forgot all about it. Medieval Jewish commentators generally took “afikoman” to refer to dessert itself, and interpreted the Haggadah to be saying, “One does not eat dessert,” or “One does not eat anything else,” after finishing the Seder. And in time, “afikoman” lost the meaning of “dessert,” too, and came to designate the matzo that is the final item on the Passover menu, after which nothing more is to be eaten.
Pilologos goes on to refute a messianic Hebrew explanation of the term, and concludes:
Beyond all this, there are two simple linguistic reasons that the afikomenos theory doesn’t wash and the epi komios theory does. In the first place, substitute “the coming one” for “revel” or “dessert” in the Hebrew phrase eyn maftirin ah.ar ha-pesah. afikoman, and you get nonsense; it just doesn’t mean anything. And second, this Hebrew phrase is puzzling in its own right, because it seems to be missing a preposition. If afikoman, that is, is to be construed as a simple noun meaning “revel,” “dessert,” “the coming one” or whatever, the Hebrew should be eyn maftirin ah.ar ha-pesah. le-afikoman, or be-afikoman, i.e., “One does not send off [one’s guests] at the end of the Passover meal to [or with] an afikoman.” As it reads in the Haggadah, however, the Hebrew, literally translated, seems to say, quite ungrammatically, “One does not send off [one’s guests] at the end of the Passover meal afikoman.”
What happened to this missing preposition? The answer is that it’s not missing at all, because it’s there in the epi, meaning “for” or “to,’ of the Greek epi komios. There’s no other explanation of why the Hebrew is the way it is, and that’s enough to clinch the matter in itself.
In other words, what was meant to discourage house-to-house revalry has morphed into shoving a piece of dry cracker bread into one’s mouth and swallowing without benefit of water or drink, all in order to “remember” a custom that never was. Cute, nu?