Word for Wednesday: Mayonnaise

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Our Word for Wednesday theme for August is condiments.

condiment is added to food to enhance its flavour. The word has been used in English since the mid-fifteenth century and comes from the Latin ‘condire’ meaning ‘to pickle’.

So far we’ve looked at the words mustard and ketchup. Today’s word is mayonnaise.

Mayonnaise – also often called by its nickname mayo – is a thick creamy sauce made with egg yolks, oil, and either vinegar or lemon juice.

This French word (which dates to 1806) has been used in English since 1815. It is probably a corruption of ‘mahonnaise’ and likely got its name from Port Mahon the capital of Minorca which was captured by the French in 1756. The sauce was perhaps created in commemoration of the victory. The abbreviation to mayo dates to around 1930. 


17 Aug 2022
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