One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A silver-coloured cupro-nickel alloy, either the Chinese alloy paitung, or a European imitation of this, used especially in the manufacture of 18th-cent. fireplace furniture.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in The Annual Register. From Chinese (Cantonese) baahk tùhng (Meyer-Wempe transcription paâk t'ūng) white copper from baahk white + tùhng copper.
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