One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(Now rare) a substance used to simultaneously starch and add a gloss to laundry, typically consisting of borax or stearic acid mixed with starch; (in early use also) a substance used to produce a glossy surface on starched laundry.
2A glaze made of starch and water for producing a glossy surface on items of food, typically baked goods.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Monthly Journal Progress.
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