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Apr 7, 2022This week’s theme
Words from chemistry
This week’s words
A chest of drawers with printed designs
Image: Furniture of the Depression Era by Harriett & Robert Swedberg
A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
adjective: Cheap and showy.
noun: A white crystalline compound, also known as sodium borate, used in manufacturing, cleaning, etc.
From Old French boras, from Latin borax, from Arabic buraq, from Persian burah (borax). Earliest documented use: 1920s.
A century ago, cheap furniture was given as a premium for buying a box of borax soap. That, or borax soap was given away for buying cheap furniture. Either way, the word borax became slang for something cheap and poorly made.
“You’ve got to know your stuff before you go into a relatively cheap place and start buying, or you’ll run into trouble ... You know about borax, don’t you?”
Emily Hahn; Francie Comes Home; Franklin Watts; 1956.
“Al the furniture maven knew it was cheap stuff, borax.”
Laurence Shames; Welcome to Paradise; Villard; 1999.
See more usage examples of borax in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love. -William Wordsworth, poet (7 Apr 1770-1850)
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