One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A hard lump, typically spherical or egg-shaped, of an artificial material containing a variety of organic and inorganic components (including bezoar, coral, precious metals, aromatics, etc.), grated or shaved into a liquid for use as a (supposed) fever remedy.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Robert Hooke (1635–1703), natural philosopher.
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