Etymology
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varnish (v.)
late 14c.; see varnish (n.). Related: Varnished; varnishing. Century Dictionary defines varnishing day as "A day before the opening of a picture exhibition on which exhibitors have the privilege of retouching or varnishing their pictures after they have been placed on the walls." The custom is said to date to the early years of 19c.
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varnish (n.)
mid-14c., from Old French vernis "varnish" (12c.), from Medieval Latin vernix "odorous resin," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Late Greek verenike, from Greek Berenike, name of an ancient city in Libya (modern Bengasi) credited with the first use of varnishes. The town is named for Berenike II, queen of Egypt (see Berenice). Figurative sense of "specious gloss, pretense," is recorded from 1560s.
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unvarnished (adj.)
c. 1600, of statements, "not embellished," from un- (1) "not" + past participle of varnish (v.). Literal sense of "not covered in varnish" is recorded from 1758.
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japan (v.)
"to coat with lacquer or varnish" in the manner of Japanese lacquer-work, 1680s, from Japan. Related: japanned; japanning. Hence also japonaiserie (1896, from French). Japanned work being generally black, japanned took on a slang sense of "ordained into the priesthood."
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glair (n.)
white of an egg (used as a varnish), c. 1300, from Old French glaire "white of egg, slime, mucus" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *claria (ovi) "white part (of an egg)," from Latin clarus "bright, clear" (see clear (adj.)). Related: Glaireous.
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ladies (n.)

plural of lady (q.v.). Ladies' night (1880) originally was any event to which women were invited at an all-male club.

Every succeeding occasion is usually said to be "the best ever," but for true pleasure, comfort and genuine enjoyment it is doubtful if any occasion has been more truly "the best ever" than the ladies' night of the Paint, Oil and Varnish Club of Chicago, which was given in the Crystal ballroom of the Blackstone Hotel, Chicago, Thursday evening January 26. ["Paint, Oil and Drug Review," Feb. 1, 1911]
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