One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1mass noun A kind of oil formerly used by men to make their hair shine and lie flat.
- ‘Every morning he donned white satin gloves with pearl buttons at the wrists, and by noon they were spotted with dirt and Macassar oil and crushed lice.’
- ‘I remember these still being used in the homes of my older relatives in the 1960s, although no one wore Macassar oil in those days.’
- ‘It is thought to have a tonic effect on the scalp; it was used as an ingredient in a hair preparation known as "Macassar" oil in the Victorian period.’
2variant spelling of Makassar
Mid 17th century: earlier form of Makassar. The oil was originally represented as consisting of ingredients from Makassar.
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