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1660s, from Italian blando "delicate," or Old French bland "flattering, complimentary," both from Latin blandus "smooth-talking, flattering, alluring," perhaps from PIE *mlad-, nasalized variant of *meld-, extended form of root *mel- (see melt). Related: Blandly; blandness. Latin also had blandiloquentulus "flattering in speech," which might have yielded a useful English *blandiloquent.