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marshmallow (n.)

Old English mersc-mealwe "kind of mallow plant (Althea officinalis) which grows near salt marshes;" from marsh + mallow. The confection (so called from 1877) originally was made from paste from the mucilaginous roots of this plant. The Greek word for the shrub, althaea, is from althein, althainein "to heal, get well" (the roots were used medicinally), from PIE root *al- (2) "to grow, nourish."

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