This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Word To Use Today: marmite.

A hard-working word, marmite.

In Britain, Marmite is a tar-like substance made of yeast and vegetable extracts. It's quite similar to (and yet utterly different from) the Australian delicacy Vegemite, the Swiss Cenovis, and the American Vegex, and it raises similar passions amongst those who like it and those who hate it.

It's made by persuading yeast to auto-destruct.

The philosopher Edward de Bono suggested that Marmite might solve the problems of the Middle East.

Oh yes, he really did.

He suggested that the bad-temper which has plagued the region for millennia might be due to a lack of zinc in the diet (good heavens, we're back to zinc deficiency again. Is that a co-incidence or is it FATE?) which a generous helping of Marmite would cure.

Extraordinary, isn't it.

Marmite is also sometimes taken to prevent malaria. It has no effect on malaria at all, but a belief in its usefulness seems to have arisen when Mary Ratnam dished out Marmite tablets with quinine tablets during an malaria epidemic in Sri Lanka. This had a hugely beneficial effect on the health of the malnourished people.

**Look, I'm really going to have to do some more research into zinc deficiency. If I can discover any way of helping I'll let you know.**

Anyway, apart from the yeast extract, a marmite is a posh lidded cauldron, as used, I should imagine, by the more elegant witch.

And, lastly, in America a marmite is a container used to bring food to troops in the field of war.

Word To Use Today: marmite. This word is from the French for pot. Marmite jars are the same shape as a traditional marmite, too.

1 comment:

  1. You have to follow that Zinc trail, Word Den! Who knows where it will lead. I will not take my daily Zinc tablet for granted any more. We love Marmite in this house.