August 19, 2018

Gamboge is my current favorite color:


Quoth our hard-working Oxford English Dictionary:

Gamboge (gæmbōu·dʒ, -būdʒ). Forms: (7 cambugium, gambaugium, -bugia, cambodia, 7-8 cambogium, 8 gambogia, -bozia, -boidea, -bogium), 8 gumbouge, 9 camboge, 8- gambouge, gamboge, (Dicts. gambooge).

[ad. mod. L. gambogium etc. (now in pharmacy cambogia), f. various forms of the name of Cambodia, the district in Annam from which the substance is obtained. The deriv. is given by Dampier in 1699 (Suppl. to Voy. round World, vi. 105).]

1. A gum-resin obtained from various trees of the genis Garcinia, natives of Cambodia, Siam, etc. It is largely used as a pigment, giving a bright yellow colour, and also as a drastic purgative in medicine.

[ 1634 J. Bate Myst. Nat. 126 Take saffron or Cambugium.

1635Bk. Extrav./ 210 Orpiment and gambaugium are both very good yellows.

1688 R. Holme Armoury II. 85/2 Cambugia, whither Gum, or Juice dried, is not certain.]

1712 tr. Pomet’s Hist. Drugs I. 178 Gamboge ought to be chosen of a bright yellow Colour a little inclining to Red.

1772-84 Cook Voy. (1790) I. 224 It yields a bright yellow resin, that resembles gumbouge.

1821 Craig Lect. Drawing v. 310 The whole picture or drawing must be washed over with a mixture of Venetian red and gambouge.

1863 Baring-Gould Iceland 208 The guest room walls are painted gamboge to a height of three feet.

1876 Bartholomew Mat. Med. (1879) 475 Gamboge is rarely prescribed alone as a cathartic.

b. The plant from which gamboge is obtained.

1876 Harley Mat. Med. (ed. 6) 698 The Gamboge is native of Siam and Cochin-China.

2. attrib., as gamboge-plant, -resin, -tree, -yellow.

1837 Penny Cycl. VII 367/2 The chin and throat gamboge-yellow.

1838 Ibid. XI. 68/1 The true gamboge-tree of Ceylon has been determined to belong to a new genus named Hebradendron. Ibid. XII 90/2 A plant .. which he thought might be the gamboge plant, as it contained a yellow purgative juice in the rind of its fruit.

1885 G. S. Forbes Wild Life in Canara 42 The same gamboge resin distills from both [wild and cultivated mangosteen] trees.

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