One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A red aniline dye.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Robert Hunt (1807–1887), chemist and photographer. From Magdala, the name of a town (now called Āmba Maryam) in Abyssinia (modern Ethiopia), the site of the battle in 1868 in which the British general, Robert Napier, defeated the Emperor Tewodros II + red.
Magdala red/ˈmaɡdələ ˈrɛd/
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