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mid-14c., "medicinal compound, antidote for poison," from Old French triacle "antidote" (c.1200), from Vulgar Latin *triacula, from Latin theriaca, from Greek theriake (antidotos) "antidote for poisonous wild animals," from fem. of theriakos "of a wild animal," from therion "wild animal," diminutive of ther (genitive theros) "wild animal," from PIE root *ghwer- "wild" (see fierce).
Sense of "molasses" is first recorded 1690s; that of "anything too sweet or sentimental" is from 1771. The connection may be from the use of molasses as a laxative, or its use to disguise the bad taste of medicine.
syrup remaining after sugar is crystallized out of cane or beet juice. Molasses syrup is separated from sugar crystals by means of centrifuging. Molasses is separated from the sugar crystals repeatedly during the manufacturing process, resulting in several different grades of molasses; that obtained from the first extraction contains more sugar, tastes sweeter, and is lighter in colour than molasses obtained at the second or third extractions. The third and final extraction yields blackstrap molasses, a heavy, viscous, dark-coloured product that has had all the sugar removed from it that can be separated practically by ordinary crystallization.