One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A gum resin obtained from the alerce (cypress) of Spain and North Africa, used in making varnish.
- ‘The skins have to be rubbed down with sandpaper and gum sandarac to produce the best writing surface; each one takes a good hour to prepare.’
- ‘It produces sandarac, a resin used for making varnish and incense.’
- ‘These ‘harder’ resins include Strasbourg turpentine (olio d' abezzo) from the European silver fir, Abies alba and sandarac resin, from Tetraclinis articulata and, possibly, from some Juniperus species.’
- ‘Dab the sandarac onto the paper through the cloth & hold the paper vertically and tap off any excess.’
Late Middle English (denoting realgar): from Latin sandaraca, from Greek sandarakē, of Asiatic origin. The current sense dates from the mid 17th century.
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