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cocaine (n.)

alkaloid obtained from the leaves of the coca plant, 1874, from Modern Latin cocaine (1856), coined by Albert Niemann of Gottingen University from coca (from Quechua cuca) + chemical suffix -ine (2). A medical coinage, the drug was used 1870s as a local anaesthetic for eye surgery, etc. "It is interesting to note that although cocaine is pronounced as a disyllabic word it is trisyllabic in its formation" [Flood]. Cocainism "addiction to cocaine" is recorded by 1885.

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