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Why nutritional yeast was called "Nooch" by vegans (in the UK anyway)?

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    Noochritional yeast...?
    – user216
    Apr 17, 2017 at 15:57

3 Answers 3

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The term nooch as a nickname for nutritional yeast seems to have originated at the Post Punk Kitchen forum way back. I say seems because I was not able to find any absolutely trustworthy source for this, but I did find a couple of weak ones (Urban Dictionary entry for nooch; this site and also this Post Punk Kitchen forum post that wonders about people outside of PPK using it).

As for the reason behind naming nutritional yeast nooch, there seems to be no reason at all. One conjecture I would venture to make is that it may have something to do with the use of nooch as a blank word with arbitrary meaning. Since it originated on a forum, it was probably jokingly (nooch is also connected to phrase snoch to the nooch which is used to indicate joking at the end of sentence) suggested as better name for nutritional yeast, which is, admittedly, not the greatest of names.

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    I assumed it was short for nutritional yeast, like "nut(ri)sh"
    – Zanna
    Mar 31, 2017 at 19:38
  • @Zanna Well, that's certainly a possibility. Although, in that case I would expect word word 'yeast' to be incorporated to the word as well. Mar 31, 2017 at 20:22
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    I can't think of a pleasant-sounding way to do that :) The problem with "nutritional yeast" is it's too long and technical sounding to be appetising, hence the need to abbreviate into something that sounds edible for non-medical reasons edit: maybe "noochy" would work!
    – Zanna
    Mar 31, 2017 at 20:25
  • 'Noochy' is, in my opinion, much better than nooch. Although, after some Google searching, noochy seems to be used as an adjective for nooch already :). I thought of 'neast' maybe conveying the ide, but urban dictionary has an entry about it being a 'nasty yeast infection'. Not a great start. :) Mar 31, 2017 at 21:23
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So I wandered into this discussion randomly, but I can actually answer this question because my one and only claim to fame is naming "nooch" and mentioning it in the PPK forums c. 2005-2006. Isa Chandra Moskowitz, one of the co-hosts of the PPK, posted that she called her nutritional yeast "newt" but wondered if any of us had a better name. Turns out a lot of people were calling their nooch a lot of gross names. And I had just been on a Kevin Smith movie kick, and Jay (of Jay and Silent Bob) said "snooch to the nooch" and similar, and so I told the PPKers I had taken to calling it nooch. It caught on, Isa & Terry used it in their cookbooks, and the rest is noochstory. Nooch is really just an abbreviation of the phonetics of nutr(itional yeast). Someone on the Internet captured part of our conversation in the forums from early 2006...it's at Barrypopik, I think. Happy nooching! And now I feel old.

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    Hahaha thanks for sharing this fun story!
    – Zanna
    Mar 15 at 7:34
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I always thought that 'nooch' was short for no cheese.

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