boil you lance

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Could someone explain the meanigs of "boil" and "lance" in the following sentence?

"The 'boil' that you lance comes from Old English but what you do to water in a kettle comes from French."

  • GretchenPlay

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, NZE
    A boil is a large absess, like a massive pimple. They are very painful and often caused by some sort of infection. To lance a boil is to cut it open using a lancet, which is a small surgical instrument, usually sharp-pointed and two-edged, for making small incisions.


    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    It's a play on the word 'boil', since 'boil' is also what you do to water in a kettle.
    The noun 'boil' derives from an Old English word whereas the verb 'boil' is from the French 'bouiller'.
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