One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A type of unrefined sugar made from raw cane juice and produced in loaves or blocks, chiefly in Mexico, Brazil, and other Latin American countries.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Hannibal Evans Lloyd (1771–1847), philologist and translator. From Portuguese rapadura, lit. ‘scraping’ from rapad-, past participial stem of rapar to scrape + -ura.
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