There was paraffin-oil on its hair, face, arms, frock and feet.
Mingled with the paraffin-oil all over its person was cold boiled potato.
For many years afterwards William associated babies in his mind with paraffin-oil and potato.
paraffin-oil is the poorest of all present-day forms of lantern illuminants.
1838, from German Paraffin, coined c.1830 by German chemist Karl von Reichenbach (1788-1869), who first obtained it as a waxy substance from wood tar, irregularly from Latin parum "not very, too little," probably related to parvus "little, small" (see parvi-) + affinis "associated with" (see affinity).
So called because paraffin is chemically not closely related to other substances. The liquid form (originally parafin oil) Reichenbach called eupion, but this was the standard meaning of paraffin in English by 1860.