One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A white mineral in some alkaline salt deposits, used in making glass and ceramics, as a metallurgical flux, and as an antiseptic.
- ‘In what may gone down as the ‘Big Pig Borax Bust’, 16 slaughterhouses processing pork meat were raided this week for operating outside of prescribed hours and using too much borax as a chemical preservative.’
- ‘After the 1870s, gold was discovered in the surrounding mountains, and borax deposits were found in the valley.’
- ‘Fluxes of this type are usually based on borax, boric acid, or glass, which melts at copper alloy melting temperatures to provide a fluid slag cover.’
- ‘Because borax could not be crystallized in fluid warmer than 77 degrees, no processing occurred at desert sites during the heat of the summer.’
- ‘He crushed the mineral and then fused half of it with borax in a platinum crucible.’
- ‘Use natural, unscented laundry soap and add borax, washing soda or baking soda as a water softener.’
- ‘If more alkalinity was needed, then borax, sodium metaborate, sodium carbonate, or even lye were used.’
- ‘To inhibit mold and prevent unpleasant odors in your garbage can, sprinkle 1/4 cup each of borax (a natural mineral found in the laundry aisle) and baking soda into the bottom of your empty garbage can.’
- ‘Elzbieta has to trim the spoiled sausages, which have been treated with borax and glycerine, as well as trim meat that has fallen on the rat-infested floor.’
- ‘One member created an alternative cement for the concrete floor of our sauna, using fly ash (from coal burning plants, not waste dumps!), citric acid, lye, and borax.’
- ‘The abnormal levels of borax and formalin for example have brought about concern for public safety.’
- ‘With the addition of borax or carbonate it gives higher contrast but may generate dichroic fog.’
- ‘Potassium salts, such as sylvite (potassium chloride), are used to produce fertilizers for the agricultural industry, while boron salts, especially borax, are a basic resource for the glass industry.’
- ‘To remove mold that takes root in grout and on walls and windowsills, mix equal parts water and borax (a mineral-based powder sold in natural food stores) in a spray bottle, suggests Dadd.’
- ‘By the end of the nineteenth century Chile was producing 50 percent of the world's borax.’
- ‘To remove stains from clothing, try soaking fabrics in water mixed with borax, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, washing soda, or white vinegar.’
- ‘Much of this advice - paint windows white, soak curtains in borax, wear natural fibres, curl up on the ground during an attack - now seems darkly comical when set against the likely horrors and devastation of a nuclear strike on a city.’
- ‘On non-washable materials try a little borax or hydrogen peroxide to get the last traces out.’
- ‘The flux also might contain silica, borax, soda ash, potassium nitrate and household flour.’
- ‘These are mixed with borax, a naturally occurring mineral.’
Late Middle English: from medieval Latin, from Arabic būraq, from Pahlavi būrak.
Good-natured teasing or ridicule; banter.‘they take a bit of borax, but that is part of the job’
- ‘He poured the borax on him for not giving him enough racing room.’
- ‘He likes to have a bit of borax from time to time.’
- ‘They take a bit of borax, but that is part of the job.’
poke borax at
informal Deride or make fun of.‘a feature that poked borax at the sillier side of the Net’
- ‘"Don't go poking borax at the dead," remonstrated Mumma.’
- ‘We always enjoy her columns, especially the weekly effort, which always manages to poke the borax at some poor politician.’
- ‘He sat there, flamboyantly peering through a pair of binoculars, to poke a bit more borax at his old foe.’
- ‘He knew I was 'poking borax' at him, but couldn't see how to resent it.’
- ‘He's poked the borax at the mayor over the budget issues that the new council is facing.’
- ‘Some of the rude little boys used to poke borax at him.’
- ‘Members opposite want to poke borax at people who dare to have a different view.’
- ‘I knew I'd be able to poke some borax at them eventually.’
- ‘I don't think it's fair for you always to poke borax at me.’
- ‘You can't get coverage in the media, except when they choose to poke the Borax at those outside Parliament.’
Early 19th century (as borak): Australian pidgin, based on Aboriginal burag ‘no, not’, later influenced by borax in spelling and pronunciation.
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