Cheap shoddy merchandise.
ETYM Old Eng. boras, from French borax, earlier spelt borras; cf. Late Lat. borax, Spanish borraj; all from Arabic borag, from Pers. borah.
An ore of boron consisting of hydrated sodium borate; used as a flux or cleansing agent.
A natural salt, also made from soda, used as flux and antiseptic.
Hydrous sodium borate, Na2B4O7.10H20, found as soft, whitish crystals or encrustations on the shores of hot springs and in the dry beds of salt lakes in arid regions, where it occurs with other borates, halite, and gypsum. It is used in bleaches and washing powders.
A large industrial source is Borax Lake, California. Borax is also used in glazing pottery, in soldering, as a mild antiseptic, and as a metallurgical flux.