eno's vegetable moto

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 12 04:01:30 UTC 2011

Thanks. This addresses most of my issues. The possible Latin/Japanese
coincidence is interesting (although obviously different meanings). Like I
said, this was pure speculation based on timing and a number of

Still would like to figure out where Marmite came from.


On Wed, May 11, 2011 at 11:53 PM, Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at nb.net> wrote:

> James Crossley Eno, of Newcastle, apparently first compounded the Eno
> products. There is a Wikipedia page for Eno Fruit Salt, which was
> apparently marketed in the UK and elsewhere by GSK at least until 2010.
> This product apparently is/was essentially citrate + bicarbonate (at
> least recently): an effervescent antacid something like other fizzy
> products, I think.
> Vegetable Moto was apparently a laxative, and in this light the name
> "Moto" may be based on Latin rather than Japanese (although I don't know
> for sure). Coincidentally the best description I find at a glance is in
> a Japanese page ...
> http://dspace.lib.niigata-u.ac.jp:8080/dspace/bitstream/10191/9351/1/14_67-74.pdf
> ... with the title "Sutorando Magazin no Iino no Koukoku" [I think] =
> "Strand Magazine Eno Advertisements". [At a glance I don't see any
> indication here that the name "Moto" is considered possibly Japanese.]
> The "moto" in Japanese foodstuff names can be glossed "essence",
> "ingredient", or "element", or perhaps in the soup connections "base", I
> think (I defer to anyone familiar with Japanese OR with culinary words).
> The "no" is a 'particle', essentially a possessive or genitive suffix or
> postposition, equivalent to the preposition "of". I think when used in
> Romanized Japanese this is usually separated as a word in recent times
> although I've seen such particles attached to the preceding word in
> Roman print occasionally. "Aji" = "flavor", so "aji-no-moto" can be
> glossed "essence of flavor" or so. [I don't know offhand whether this is
> originally a trade name.] "Inarizushi no mono" I think can be understood
> as "inarizushi ingredient", i.e., the stuff used to make inarizushi (a
> type of sushi), names of other canned products likewise. Again I defer
> to Japanese chefs and the like.
> I think "ajinomoto" can probably be considered a part of the English
> language now, = "MSG". I don't know that the "moto" itself can be
> considered English.
> -- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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