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The term "bromide" derives from the antiquated use of bromide salts in medicine as mild tranquilizers and sedatives. Administration of a "bromide" (such as the original Bromo-Seltzer before 1975 in the U.S.) would relieve anxiety and make the patient drowsy.
Describing a phrase as a "bromide" is meant humorously to imply that it is a verbal sedative: a boring statement with similar soporific properties.
In 1906, the author Gelette Burgess published a book called Are You a Bromide? in which he referred to boring people as "bromides."