a white, water-soluble powder or crystals, hydrated sodium borate, Na 2 B 4 O 7 ⋅10H 2 O, occurring naturally or obtained from naturally occurring borates; tincal: used as a flux, cleansing agent, in the manufacture of glass, porcelain, and enamel, and in tanning.
cheap, showy, poorly made merchandise, especially cheaply built furniture of an undistinguished or heterogeneous style.
Contemporary Examples

Men Without a Country: Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, My Father and Me Arthur Chu August 11, 2014

Historical Examples

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Slice 7 Various
An Explorer’s Adventures in Tibet A. Henry Savage Landor
The Library of Work and Play: Working in Metals Charles Conrad Sleffel
Searchlights on Health: Light on Dark Corners B.G. Jefferis
The Mystic Mid-Region Arthur J. Burdick
The Mother’s Manual of Children’s Diseases Charles West, M.D.
The Elements of Blowpipe Analysis Frederick Hutton Getman
Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
Western Himalaya and Tibet Thomas Thomson

noun (pl) -raxes, -races (-rəˌsiːz)
Also called tincal. a soluble readily fusible white mineral consisting of impure hydrated disodium tetraborate in monoclinic crystalline form, occurring in alkaline soils and salt deposits. Formula: Na2B4O7.10H2O
pure disodium tetraborate
A white, crystalline powder and mineral used as an antiseptic, as a cleansing agent, and in fusing metals and making heat-resistant glass. The mineral is an ore of boron and also occurs in yellowish, blue, or green varieties. Chemical formula: Na2B4O7·10H2O.

Cheap or inferior material; shoddy merchandise
Exaggeration; misrepresentation; horseshit •This may derive fr sense of the talk of borax salesmen, or it may be the ultimate source of all other senses: borak or borax, fr an aboriginal language, has been used in Australia since at least the 1840s to mean ”nonsense”; hence it might have developed (pejorated) to mean ”horseshit” and found its way to the US
Any gaudy item; tasteless bric-a-brac (1940s+)


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  • Borage

    a plant, Borago officinalis, native to southern Europe, having hairy leaves and stems, used medicinally and in salads. Compare borage family. any of various allied or similar plants. Historical Examples Cakes & Ale Edward Spencer Cakes & Ale Edward Spencer Cups and their Customs George Edwin Roberts Appletons’ Popular Science Monthly, August 1899 Various Flowers […]

  • Borage-family

    any member of the plant family Boraginaceae, typified by herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees having simple, alternate, hairy leaves and usually blue, five-lobed flowers in a cluster that uncoils as they bloom, including borage, bugloss, and forget-me-not.

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