One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A bitter toxic substance of uncertain identity (perhaps a mixture) obtained from the sea onion or squill, Drimia (formerly Scilla) maritima; (in later use) specifically a terpenoid said to have the formula C₂₇H₂₅O₆.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Thomas Thomson (1773–1852), chemist. From scillit- + -in, after French scillitine.
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