Saturday, 12 October 2013

Bran - Cereal Killer

Cereal killer, Healthy, Cake,
Not on my worst enema
(photo by Jess Latham)


Noun. Middle English.
[Old & modern French bran, obsolete bren (formerly) bran, (now) excrement, muck, filth,
= Provençal, Old Spanish, Italian dialectical bren, of unknown origin (adopted in Celtic languages from the French and English).]

1 Husks of grain separated from flour after grinding. ME

2 obsolete. Dandruff. LME-L16

branlike adjective resembling that or those of bran; resembling bran, especially in consistency. L19

branny adjective consisting of, containing, or resembling bran. LME

There's a lot going on in the OED's entry for bran, none of which is going to endear me to the stuff, connected as it is with excrement, muck, filth and dandruff. Bran's link to excrement isn't too difficult to fathom - it looks like it, after all, and is the main reason that the fecally-challenged among us eat it. Dandruff is a little harder to understand; if you've ever reached the point that your dandruff looks like Bran Flakes, then you've really delayed seeing that dermatologist for too long. With the exception of dandruff, however, I believe that all of these associations can be traced to one simple source - the most hideous and spiteful of culinary perversions, the cruelest and most ill-spirited gift that one can bestow upon another human being: those truly repugnant blobs of horror that are bran muffins. Every few weeks, I must endure these kitchen-spawned abominations when my sister-in-law arrives at my house bearing a tub of these 'healthy' passive-aggressive monstrosities because she 'was thinking of us'. While I might not have previously known the etymology of bran, the word excrement (or a less polite synonym of it) is never far from my lips as I choke down mouthfuls of these hideous, bowel-battering blobs of hate before feigning some kind of medical emergency in an attempt to excuse myself from taking another morsel. At least I think I'm feigning a medical emergency - with clumps of that grinding down my oesophagus, it's really impossible to be sure.

Have you ever inflicted bran muffins on an enemy?

Is it true that bran muffins specifically contravene several articles of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Do please separate the chaff from the bran in the comment box below.


  1. Never made them, never had them, never plan on having them.
    The end.

    1. *hugs Jingles as a single tear of hope rolls down his cheek*

    2. I doubt if you'll ever see another bran muffin - or, indeed, sister-in-law - after this.

    3. You don't know her, Sally. I'll be getting more bran muffins if anything. And more visits ...

  2. What loving sister-in-law wouldn't give a helping hand to her brother in law's under -active bowel. Next time it might be cupcakes laced with laxitives...

    1. This is a threat. I want it on public record that I am in danger, and should I soon die a horrible bran or cupcake-related death, the relevant authorities should be notified.