Word Origin & History
1340, "medicinal compound, antidote for poison," from O.Fr. triacle "antidote" (c.1200), from V.L. *triacula, from L. theriaca, from Gk. theriake (antidotos) "antidote for poisonous wild animals," from fem. of theriakos "of a wild animal," from therion "wild animal," dim. of ther (gen. theros) "wild
animal," from PIE base *ghwer- "wild" (see fierce
). Sense of "molasses" is first recorded 1694; 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.