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July 15, 2008


Simpsons.JPGHave you noticed how certain words are so appropriate (as opposed to something like "confit") that the blog embraces them? The most obvious example is "gack."

But now we are all using "mmmmm," as in "mmmmm...bacon," and I got to wondering where it came from. Googling gets me lots of info, including the fact that you can tag things "mmmmm" on Amazon. Only eight products, however, have been tagged, including Hapi Hot Wasabi Peas, McCann's Steel Cut Oatmeal, and Madhavi Raw Pure Organic Agave Nectar. 

Did it originate with the Homer Simpson? This Web page suggests so. But maybe one of you remembers an earlier usage.


Posted by Elizabeth Large at 11:16 AM | | Comments (25)


i remember {cue the DJ}
"Campbells Noodle Soups are
mm-mmm good".

Not to give away my age, but I know where the "mmmm" expression originated in my life:

"Mmmm, mmmm, good.
Mmmm, mmmm, good.
That's what Campbell's soups are...
Mmmm, mmmm, good."

MMMMM MMMMM good, mmmmm mmmmm good, that's what Campbell soups are mmmmm mmmmm good. Certainly pre-dates Mr. Simpson.

All of you are right, but I'm thinking more of how it's used now, which is a little different. Did some kid walk into the kitchen and say "Mmmmm...soup" in the commercials? I don't think so. EL

Well, if we can find a 4th, we'll have a quartet.

Okay RtSO, I'm in...

mmm-mmm good

I'm at work, so the content Nazis have blocked me from You Tube and other streaming media sites, but everything else is on there; old Campbell soup commercials should be, too.

(I'm at work, but not being very productive...I've got "Mmmm, mmmm, good" running through my brain, which spun me off to "From the land of sky-blue waters," which led to "Brylcream, a little dab will do ya"...)

Oh well, time is fungible.

Mmm... maybe a shortening of "yum":
"delicious," 1899, from baby talk. Yum-yum as an exclamation of pleasure is recorded from 1878.

What did people say before that?

Babies make a lot of noises. Is "yum yum" one of them? Not really. But I think it is something adults say TO babies, but why? Here's a crazy idea and I have no idea what you would call it linguistically (Onamapoeia?).

There are only so many sounds you can make with your mouth closed. Fast forward to closed-mouthed chewing and imagine forcing a delightful taste in your mouth up through your nasal passages and "mmm" is a sound you get.

McCann's??? I usually don't think of oatmeal, regardless of what kind it is, as an mmmmmmm food.

I used to feed my old yeller lab McCann's Irish Steel Cut Oats. He loved them!

Elizabeth, I think you are getting a little existential on us. You are saying that Homer Simpson has made "mmmmm" a thing-in-itself. (See Sartre's Being and Nothingness) It no longer is a modifier.

Homer Simpson did for the "mmmmm..." what The Todd from Scrubs did for the High Five - taking something pointless taken to its extreme conclusion.

Existential high five ... don't leave me hangin'

I can't speak to origination, but I'd say Homer Simpson definitely popularized it. I've never even seen a whole episode of the Simpsons, that I can recall, but it's his voice I hear when the "mmmmm . . . bacon" construction is used.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with my former employer over the origins of the phrase "Open up a can of whoop-a**".

Owl, how do you manage to mix the ridiculous and the sublime, nah, the pretentious and the moronic so seemlessly?

You say idiotic? I say rightiotic!

The Simpsons has been on for so long, it's hard to remember "before".

RTSO, I call dibs on alto! Obviously, the Boomers among us remember Campbell's Kids well (God bless us every one!). But I do believe "mmmmm...[food of choice]" comes from Homer Simpson. Although I've never watched a full Simpsons episode, it's his voice I hear whenever the "mmmmm" phrase is uttered. Terrier Mom, Yum-Yum is just the soprano lead in "The Mikado."

the Boomers among us: you mean we are not all svelte 20 somethings? Oh, and Ms. Dottie you can have alto, if I can do Nanki-Poo.

Ms. Susan, I didn't mean to ignore you, you can have soprano or bass, your choice.

OMS(G), Scrubs? Oh, you were the one who actually watched that show. I knew there had to be someone, I just didn't think anyone would admit it.

RtSO: I don't know how I will do as soprano, but I know how I would do as bass,and we definitely don't want me to do that!
Should we have a virtual internet rehearsal?
Here we go...
mmm mmm good.
How was I?

Susie WNAJ (which I still have no idea what that means) -- I'm sorry, just being honest here and all, it wasn't that good for me. But I realize it was directed to solo Rob, so maybe it struck him differently.

WNAJ = Who Needs A Job. EL

Oh Ms. Susan, when are the Met Regional auditions? Brava, brava!

Never watched Scrubs first run, but like Wings before it, is fantastic in reruns. It's hard to explain.

Is Anonymous suggesting a sub text?

one doesn't say Mmmm mmmm bacon

when one is discussing cambell's soup one doesn't say mmmmm good...

It was from Homer.. example... mmmmmm Doughnuts...

mmmmmm beer

add drool and slightly vacant expression.

RTSO, ya got a deal!

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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