I never knew what the origin was, and I just saw it on a list of Merriam-Webster’s Top 10 Words of Summer. You can see it here.
The marshmallow gets its name from the mallow plant that grows in marshes.
In ancient times, sap from the root of that plant was used to make medicinal syrup and ointment. Eventually, that same sap became a source of candy.
Today’s supermarket marshmallow is untouched by root sap. It’s made from corn syrup, gelatin, egg whites, and sugar.
Golly that sure is simple, right? With all the crazy origins out there in the English language, sometimes it’s nice to see one that is simple and clean!