Banana oil



a sweet-smelling liquid ester, C 7 H 14 O 2 , a mixture of isomers derived from amyl alcohol and having the characteristic odor of bananas: used chiefly as a paint solvent and in artificial fruit flavors; amyl acetate.
Slang. insincere talk; nonsense.
Historical Examples

But, after all, it was the banana oil the aluminum paint was mixed with that turned the trick.
Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford

If there’s any perfume fitter for a lost soul than attar of banana oil, it hasn’t been discovered.
Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford

noun
a solution of cellulose nitrate in pentyl acetate or a similar solvent, which has a banana-like smell
a nontechnical name for pentyl acetate

noun

Nonsense, esp when used to flatter and mislead; bunk

[1910+; perhaps fr the oily smoothness and fruity odor of banana oil, amyl acetate]
Nonsense, exaggerated flattery, as in I should be on television? Cut out the banana oil! The precise analogy in this idiom is not clear, unless it is to the fact that banana oil, a paint solvent and artificial flavoring agent, has no relation to the fruit other than that it smells like it. Possibly it is a variation on snake oil, a term for quack medicine that was extended to mean nonsense. [ 1920s ]

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