One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1with object To boil for too long so as to overcook.
2no object To boil over; to boil so as to overflow the pot, etc.
3with object Of a liquid: to boil over so as to overflow (a vessel, etc.).
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Thomas Cogan (c1545–1607), physician. From over- + boil.
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