Brit-speak translation, please?

After Piers Morgan’s departure from “Good Morning Britain”, the temporary anchor commented: "“We don’t call him Marmite for nothing.”

Little help, here, O Brit posters?

PS - this is purely a dialect question, not meant to raise any discussion about why Morgan left, etc.

Unilever, the maker of Marmite, has done a great marketing job with the Love-it-or-hate-it campaigns over the years, so much so that “It’s Marmite” has now become a stand-alone phrase in British English.

According to the MacMillan dictionary online,

If something is described as Marmite , then there’s no way you can be indifferent about it or express minor shades of like or dislike. No, if it’s Marmite , then its very nature forces you to firmly sit in either the ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ camp.

Although people have been using Marmite to describe polarizing things or people for a few decades, it can now stand on its own in a sentence, without anyone having to add clarification – “You either love it or hate it.”

Interesting - thanks!

Marmite is concentrated yeast, a by-product of beer brewing.

It has a strong flavour and as stated above, it’s not to everyone’s taste. A little goes a long way and it should be spread very thin.

To put it in terms of a Canadian product: “Those who like it, like it a lot.”

This old Pit thread, from about 10+ years ago, tells the essence of Marmite:

Really weird analogy. Does anyone actually like Piers Morgan? I thought he had alienated US and UK audiences for years.

Yes, but people really like being alienated.

Northern Piper, Marmite was part of a boy’s proper education at one of the schools I attended in Oakville, ON. When I was first introduced to it, I thought it was one of those “character building” trials, only to learn that some people love it. That’s when I first began to realize that although I am of British heritage, I’m Canadian.

oh, I’m familiar with Marmite. My Welsh grandmother used to bring it home after her trips to the UK. Just hadn’t heard the idiom “He’s Marmite”

Huh. That’s really interesting!

I happen to like Marmite pretty well (don’t love it). I like Vegemite slightly better.

Does anyone actually like Piers Morgan?

He has his supporters in the usual “He tells it like it is” quarters of the internet, even if perhaps they wouldn’t like him (in the sense of going for a beer with him).

That’s hilarious!

Our 5 year old asked for a Marmite sandwich in her school lunch recently, and then again, and again, and again! She’s actually getting Vegemite, but whatever, we will have that conversation with her when we discuss the truth about Santa Clause. The trick with both, as I’m sure you know, is to spread it thinly on butter. It’s also nice with cheese.

I hadn’t heard Marmite used in reference to other polarising things, but it makes sense.

It’s the TV show/company frankly making excuses for having employed him for so long. Saying ‘he’s marmite’ makes it look like some people must like/love him, so it’s ok for them to employ him. Sounds better than ‘he’s loathsome’.

It’s a term I might use with my colleagues about a horrible client, trying to be diplomatic. Everyone in room will know I’m actually saying ‘he’s a dick’.

Your analogy to Marmite is illogical.
Because a dick actually serves a useful purpose on this earth.

As a lesbian, I find considerable more uses for Marmite.

Vegemite, you say…. Frankly, I’m with Amanda Palmer on that one.

Funny how much native idiom shift one misses after a long time away. I lived in the USA for about 3 decades & only recently came back to the UK a year ago. Much is the same, but there are a few ‘duh, what?’ things like this which come as a surprise!

Except GMB ratings have definitely been helped by Piers Morgan so he obviously is marmite. Many viewers clearly like him.


His absence will also almost certainly harm viewing figures. ITV shares fell nearly 5% on Wednesday, wiping almost £200m off its market value, following the announcement of Morgan’s departure.

My Bold. (ITV being the network that made the show. Depressing, isn’t it?)