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The OED on Treacle

The OED on Treacle - Contributed by Howard Douglass

treacle (__________), n. Forms: _. 4-6 tryacle, 4-7 triacle, 5 tryacall, -cul, -kylle, -kell, 6 tri-, tryakle, tryackill, 7 triackle, -akcle; _. 5 tracle, treakill, -ylle, 6 treakil, 6-7 treakle, 4-treacle; _. dial. 9 threeakle, traycle, etc., Sc. trykle. [ME. try'acle, tri'acle, a. OF. triacle (a 1200 in Godef. Compl., s.v. Theriaque), beside tiriacle (1460), teracle (15th c.): = Prov. triacla, Sp.,

It. triaca, Pg. triaga, popular forms for Pr. tiriaca, Sp. teriaca, Pg. theriaga, It. teriaca, repr. a pop. late L. *triaca for theriaca:-Gr.

_______ antidote against a venomous bite: see theriac, theriacle. The sense development in Eng. has proceeded further than in the Romanic langs.]

I. Original sense: chiefly Obs.

? 1. a. Old Pharm. A medicinal compound, orig. a kind of salve, composed of many ingredients, formerly in repute as an alexipharmic against and antidote to venomous bites, poisons generally, and malignant diseases. Cf. theriac, theriacle. Obs. As to its alleged composition, see theriacle.

1340 Ayenb. 17 Vor-zo e he is ine grat peril to huam alle triacle went in to uenym.

c1386 Chaucer Pard. Prol. 28, I almoost haue caught a Cardynacle By corpus bones but I haue triacle [v.r. treacle].

1390 Earl Derby's Exp. (Camden) 12 Pro factura unius pixidis de argento pro treacle imponendo.

a1400 Hylton Scala Perf. (W. de W. 1494) iii. xix, This oynement is precyous..for it is tryacle made of venym to destroy venym.

c1425 St. Mary of Oignies i. ix. in Anglia VIII. 143 Hee.._af hym firste tryacul, at hee myghte e more priuely bringe in after venym.

1483 Cath. Angl. 392/1 Treakylle (A. Tryakylle), tiriaca.

1535 Coverdale Jer. viii. 22, I am heuy and abashed, for there is no more Triacle at Galaad.

1545 J. Heywood Four P.P. Plays (1905) 46 Richer is one box of this triacle Than all thy relics that do no miracle.

1628 Wither Brit. Rememb. ii. 315 A sixth of Cordials and Elixars prates; And some of Treacles, and of Mithridates.

a1658 Cleveland Wks. (1687) 18 Do study Salve and Triacle.

1693 Sir T. P. Blount Nat. Hist. 348 The chief Use of Vipers is for the making of Treacle.

1804 Med. Jrnl. XII. 139 His anti-venereal treacle, well-known for curing the venereal disease, rheumatism, scurvy, old-standing sores. ? b. transf. Anything to which alexipharmic or antidotal virtue is ascribed a sovereign remedy.

1544 T. Phaer Regim. Lyfe (1560) L viij b, A nut is called the triacle of fish, shaled and sugred with a litle rose water.

1563 T. Hill Art Garden. (1593) 75 Hearb grace..may well be kept for fiue yeares, and the leaues dryed, for all poysons, and a peculiar Triacle for the poor.

1727 Bradley's Fam. Dict. s.v. Garlick, To eat Garlick fasting is the Treacle of the Country People in the time of a Plague. ? c. In the names of particular kinds, with various qualifications, indicating place of origin, etc.; as treacle of Andromachus = Venice treacle; treacle of Genoa, treacle of Flanders, London treacle, Roman treacle.

1479 J. Paston in P. Lett. III. 259 Send me by the next man that comyth fro London ij pottys of tryacle of Jenne,-they shall cost xvjd.

1545 Rates of Customs c vj b, Tryacle of flaunders the barrell xx s. Tryacle of Jeane the pounde iiii d.

1586 Ibid. F j, Treacle of Flaunders the barrel xl.s.

1651 Wittie tr. Primrose's Pop. Err. i. vii. 25 That ancient, and in all ages well approved Triacle of Andromachus, as also the Mithridate of Damocrates.

a1668 R. Lassels Voy. Italy (1670) II. 213 The Apothecaries shop, where a Lay brother makes excellent Roman Treacle.

c1720 W. Gibson Farrier's Dispens. v. iii. (1734) 147 London Treacle... This seems to have been designed as a Succedaneum for the Mithridate, or Venice Treacle, and is that which the Country Apothecaries sell the Farriers under the general Name of Treacle, which many of the latter distinguish from the common Molossus-Treacle, by calling it, The Doctor's, or the Apothecaries Treacle.

1753 J. Bartlet Gentl. Farrier iii. 27 Genoa treacle twelve ounces, oil of anniseed one ounce. 2. fig. Obs. or arch.

a1310 in Wright Lyric P. v. 26 Trewe triacle y-told with tonges in trone.

1340 Ayenb. 144 e o er..hatte e yef of pite. et is propreliche a dyau and a triacle a-ye alle kueadnesse, and nameliche aye et uenim of zenne of enuie.

c1430 Lydg. Min. Poems (Percy Soc.) 236 The name of Jhesu! Geyn goostly venyms, holsomest tryacle.

1529 More Dyaloge iv. Wks. 273/2 Nowe tourne they the tryacle of holye scrypture quite into poyson.

1573 G. Harvey Letter-bk. (Camden) 22 Let me understand a part how your London triacle hath wrouht against your Cambridg poisun.

1635 Quarles Embl. v. xi. 42 Thou art the treacle that must make me sound.

1641 Milton Ch. Govt. ii. Concl., Wks. 1851 III. 178 With the sovran treacle of sound fortifie their hearts against her Hierarchy.

[1883 J. Parker Tyne Ch. 267 Where is the triacle, the treacle, the balm, that drops its sacred healing on the soul's leprosy?] ? 3. Entering into the names of plants formerly reputed to have medicinal virtues, as churl's t., Garlic (Allium sativum); countryman's t., (a) Garlic; (b) Rue (Ruta graveolens); (c) Great Valerian (V. officinalis); English t., Water Germander (Teucrium Scordium); poor man's t., (a) Garlic; (b) Hedge Garlic (Alliaria officinalis). Obs.

1398 Trevisa Barth. De P.R. xvii. x. (Tollem, MS.), Tame garlek..was not with oute cause clepid triacle of cherles [orig. tiriacum rusticorum].

1538 Turner Libellus, Chamedrys,..anglice Germander aut englysshe tryacle dicitur.

1548 - Names of Herbes, Camedrys, englishe Germander or englishe Triacle.

1551 [see English a. 2 b].

1578 Lyte Dodeons v. lxxi. 638 good against all venome and poyson... Therefore Galen..called it poore mens Treacle.

1597 Gerarde Herbal App., Churles Treacle is Allium.

1611 Cotgr., Ail, Garlicke, poore-mans Treacle. Ibid., Trissage, Germaunder, English Treacle.

1661 J. Childrey Brit. Baconica 23 The Country men in Cornwall are great eaters of Garlick for healths sake, whence they call it there, the Country mans Treacle.

1745-7 T. Short Med. Brit. (ed. 2) 246 Rue..or the Country Man's Treacle. Ibid. 295 It [Valeriana officinalis] is called the Countryman's Treacle.

1866 Treas. Bot., Countryman's treacle, an old name for Ruta graveolens.

II. 4. a. The uncrystallized syrup produced in the process of refining sugar; also sometimes extended to the uncrystallizable syrup that drains from raw sugar; = molasses 1. (See Note there.)

1694 W. Westmacott Script. Herb. (1695) 6 Good store of Molossus or common Treacle to sweeten it.

1727-41 Chambers Cycl. s.v. Sugar, Sugar of syrop, or treacle... There are three kinds of syrops that run from sugar... The Dutch and German refiners first taught the islanders how to turn their treacle into sugar.

1731 [see molasses 1].

1789 Mrs. Piozzi Journ. France I. 84 Few of us could roll and treacle.

1838 Dickens Nich. Nick. viii, They have the brimstone and the way of medicine.

1873 F. Hall Mod. Eng. 128 note, The very marked distinction between molasses and treacle is commonly ignored in America, where the latter is seldom heard.

1902 Greenough and Kittredge Words 267 'Treacle' is applied indifferently to the 'spume of sugar', to 'maple syrup', and to 'molasses'. b. An inspissated saccharine juice obtained from various trees and plants: see quots.

1731-3 P. Shaw Chem. Lect. x. (1755) 193 A Kind of Treacle from Malt might be procured in cheap Years, for the Service of the Vinegar-maker, the Brewer, and the Distiller.

1753 Chambers Cycl. Supp. s.v., Dr. Shaw, in his Essay on Distillery, has endeavoured to bring into use several sorts of Treacles, which..would serve..for the distillation of spirits, or the making of potable liquors. These are the inspissated juices or decoctions of vegetables: Such as the sweet juice of the birch, or sycamore.

1839 Darwin Voy. Nat. xii. (1879) 256 Palm..Valuable on account of a sort of treacle made from the sap.

1902 [see 4]. c. fig. Something sweet or clogging; esp. complimentary laudation, blandishment; cf. butter 1 f.

1771 Smollett Humph. Cl. 13 July, He began to sweeten the natural acidity of his discourse with the treacle of compliment and commendation.

1819 Keats Let. 23 Aug., in Rossetti Life (1887) 146, I equally dislike the favour of the public, with the love of a woman; they are both a cloying treacle to the wings of independence.

1860 Reade Cloister and H. lxxv, 'Oh, you nasty, cross old wretch!' screamed Catherine, passing in a moment from treacle to sharpest vinegar.

III. 5. attrib. and Comb.: in sense 1, as treacle-box, -monger, plaster, -pot, tap; sense 4, as treacle-pad (see quot.), phrase, -pot, pudding, toffee, -well; treacle-like adj.; treacle ale, beer, a light ale or beer brewed from treacle and water; Treacle Bible, a collectors' name for any of the English versions or editions of the Bible having 'triacle' or 'treacle' where others have 'balm', as in Jer. viii. 22, etc.; treacle-butter-cake, see quot.; treacle-carrier, treacle-conner, contemptuous terms for an itinerant quack doctor or medical practitioner; treacle-moon, contemptuous for honey-moon; treacle-parkin = parkin; treacle-posset, a hot drink made of cider or milk and treacle; treacle sleep colloq., a deep, unbroken sleep; treacle-vinegar, treacle-water, a cordial distilled with a spirituous menstruum from Venice treacle, with other drugs and simples. See also treacle clover, mustard.

a1833 A. Picken in Casquet of Lit. (1896) V. 195/2 Ye shall taste my wife's *treacle ale.

1806 Naval Chron. XV. 264 The liquor to which he was most partial was *treacle beer.

1899 B. Quaritch's Rough List No. 193. 40 Cranmer's Bible..1569... This is also a *Treacle Bible.

1457 Will of Poole (Somerset Ho.), A siluer *triacle boxe.

1828 Craven Gloss., *Treacle-butter-cake, oat cake spread over with treacle.

1621 Molle Camerar. Liv. Libr. iii. xii. 187 These Mounte~banks, *Triacle-carriers, and such other Dog-leaches.

1706 E. Baynard in Sir J. Floyer Hot and Cold Bath. ii. 227 One of the Tribe of *Treacle-conners..whether Apothecary or Physician, I can't tell.

1871 Garrod Mat. Med. (ed. 3) 329 Tar is a reddish-black, *treacle-like liquid.

1411 Close Roll 12 Hen. IV, m. 7 d, Henricus Kirtone..*Treacle-monger.

1815 Byron Let. to Moore 2 Feb., The *treacle-moon is over, and I am awake and find myself married.

1906 Daily Chron. 5 Nov. 6/6 Once more the old '*treacle-pad trick' has been employed by burglars. Part of the window is smeared with treacle, which is then covered with a sheet of thick brown paper.

1626 Art. agst. Dk. Buckhm. in Rushw. Hist. Coll. (1659) I. 352 Strange effects to follow upon the applying of a *Treacle plaister.

1739 E. Smith Compl. Housewife (ed. 9) 319 Those who can't afford mountain-whey, may drink *treacle-posset.

1876 J. S. Bristowe The. and Pract. Med. (1878) 627 Frequent sipping of warm milk, barley-water, gruel, or 'treacle posset'.

1466 Sir J. Paston in P. Lett. II. 293, I send yow..iij. *tracle pottes of Geane.

1769 J. Berridge Wks. (1864) 444 Like children, always wanting the treacle-pot.

1974 I. Murdoch Sacred and Profane Love Machine 314 What about some *treacle pud, it's awfully good here.

1861 Mrs. Beeton Bk. Househ. Managem. 688 Rolled *treacle pudding..suet crust..treacle..grated ginger.

1841 Carlyle in Froude Life in Lond. viii. (1884) I. 210, I fell first into sluggish torpor, then into *treacle-sleep, and so lay sound as a stone.

1973 'H. Howard' Highway to Murder x. 117, I slept a treacle sleep from nine p.m. until the alarm clock went morning.

a1500 Piers of Fullham 228 in Hazl. E.P.P. II. 10 Yn tyme therfore tye up yowr *tryacle tappe; Let not to long thy fawset renne.

1885 R. Holland Gloss. Words County of Chester 367 *Traycle toffy, s., sometimes called toffy sticks, a very favourite sweetmeat amongst Cheshire school children.

1924 'R. Crompton' William-the Fourth viii. 124 William was..deeply engrossed in his treacle toffee.

be..parkin and treacle toffee.

1727-41 Chambers Cycl. s.v. Theriaca, Treacle water, and *treacle vinegar are found good preservatives against putrid air.

1727-41 Chambers Cycl. s.v. Water, * be made of green walnuts, rue, carduus, marigold, baum, butter-bur-roots, burdock, angelica, master-wort, water-germander, Venice-treacle, mithridate, canary-vinegar, and lemon-juice, steeped and distilled... A more simple treacle-water, made from venice treacle, with an equal quantity of brandy and vinegar.

1865 'L. Carroll' Alice's Adventures in Wonderland vii. 107 The Dormouse..said, 'It was a *treacle-well.'

1909 Blackw. Mag. May 605/1 A University College varies its facial expression about as frequently as the Sphinx and about as violently as a treacle-well.