My last blog detailed the introduction of a Compostable Paper Cup to the KSV Vending product range and made passing reference to the earlier replacement of our plastic drinks stirrers with a Bamboo alternative. I don’t know why, but typing “Bamboo” for that blog triggered the word association and though of us all potentially being “Bamboozled” with a multitude of recycling and environmentally positive options and pressures in all elements of our lives, leading me to wonder if the origins of the words were connected.
Bamboo, which we usually associate with garden canes, the staple food for Pandas or more recently home decorative flooring is derived from the Malay word Mambu. Bamboo or Mambu is the tallest member of the grass family, is extremely fast growing and found right across Asia as well as in parts of Africa and the Americas.
Bamboozle appears to have first appeared in the English language in the early 18th century with “Gulliver’s Travels” author Jonathan Swift complaining that it was one of a large number of words in his opinion corroding the English Language. He included it in his 1710 “The Continual Corruption of our English Tongue”. There was an early Scottish word “Bombaze” meaning ‘to mystify or confuse’ and the French word “Embabouiner” ‘to make a fool of’ is another possibility. The reality is no one is really sure of the origins, but it is pretty clear that the words Bamboo and Bamboozled have no obvious language link.
Next time you use one of our Bamboo drinks stirrers, if you look closely the texture and grain pattern of it you will see it more closely resembles a grass stem than wood. It is ideal as a plastic alternative as it is fully biodegradable and very fast growing. During its growth cycle Bamboo pulls large volumes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, releasing oxygen back into the air as well as thriving in industrial areas where it consumes high levels of nitrogen. I also read that it is capable of desalinating sea water! A versatile and environmentally positive cropped resource indeed.
Written by: Colin from KSV.