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Bolus

An apothecary. Apothecaries are so called because they administer boluses. Similarly Mrs. Suds is a washer-woman; Boots is the shoeblack of an inn, etc.

George Colman adopts the name for his apothecary, who wrote his labels in rhyme, one of which was-

When taken,
To be well shaken;

but the patient being shaken, instead of the mixture, died.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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