FunBrown the pill: What is the origin of this...

Brown the pill: What is the origin of this expression?

The Spanish language is characterized by being very rich in both vocabulary and expressions that make it unique. There are many Spanish sayings that have a historical meaning and others , such as the well-known ‘gilding the pill’, which have nothing to do with its literal meaning, but which make our language much more interesting if possible.

What is ‘Brown the Pill’?

Although you might think that the phrase comes from something literal related to medicine or pills, the truth is that the expression has nothing to do with it. As we all know, ‘ gild the pill’ comes to mean when a situation is described in which an individual tries to obtain the favor of another by being nice to him or cajoling him to obtain a benefit.

Originally it was used to describe situations in which an individual made up bad news so as not to hurt the person to whom it was addressed and thus not harm them.

According to Professor José María Iribarren from the University of Navarra, who published ‘El porqué de los said’ in 1996, the expression has the meaning of “concealing damage or injury; mitigate or soften bad news in some way. “

Where does the expression come from?

It is difficult and complicated to know where many of the expressions come from in Spanish that make our own language so rich.

Formerly the medicines or remedies against day-to-day diseases were made by the so-called apothecaries. Currently they are developed by large pharmaceutical multinationals that develop drugs for citizens.

These apothecaries, not only studied and looked for a way to cure the evil of the person who asked them for a solution to their illness, they also wanted the taste to be good for the person who took it.

As the amount of excipients that we can find today did not exist, the apothecaries managed to mix these remedies with flavors that would make them more edible and thus attenuate the flavor of the pills they sold.

The normal thing was to immerse the tablets in sweet concentrates that were mixed in flavor so that they absorbed the sweet concentrate as well as possible. They then dried it over low heat until these sweet components produced a coating that enveloped these components more unpleasant for the palate of the patients.

For this reason, this expression began to be used literally because what the apothecaries did was brown the pill to make it more edible.

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