The origin of…Lollipop

“When someone says: “I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done”, give him a lollipop. “ Alan J. Perlis

Post 81 Lollipop

The first lollipops were created by accident by primitive people using sticks to collect honey from beehives. They licked the honey off the sticks, thus inventing what we now know as lollipops.
Archeologists believe that Egyptians made fruit and nut “candies” mixed with honey and put sticks in these balls to make them easier to eat.

In the 17th century when sugar became more plentiful street vendors all across London started selling manually made “lolly pop”, candy, in large quantities (after lolly, tongue, and pop, slap). According to The Oxford English Dictionary the word “lollipop” first appeared in print in the January, 1784, edition of the newspaper “The London Chronicle” . The word referred at that time to sweets in general and not to candy on a stick.
Lollipops as we know them today appeared in the United Sates just before the Civil War (1861-1865). They were small pieces of sugar candy at the ends of pencils so kids could nibble on them.
The American George Smith claims to be the first to create the modern lollypop in 1908. He named the candy after his favorite racehorse Lolly Pop and patented the candy and the name in 1931. During the Depression, George’s company stopped making candy for several years and the trademark could not be enforced. Since then, lollipop has been the generic term for this candy.
Also in 1908, in Racine, Wisconsin, the first lollipops were made by the Racine Confectionary Machine Company using automated production. They introduced a machine that put hard candy on the end of a stick at the rate of 2,400 sticks per hour.

Around 1912, the Russian immigrant Samuel Born invented a machine that inserted sticks into candy. The Born Sucker Machine was so innovative according to City of San Francisco that Born was awarded the keys to the city in 1916.
By the 1940s the lollipop had become very popular but it was also a cause for concern, because children played with lollipops in their mouths. When they fell, the stick would push the candy into the mouth of the child, causing severe injury. That is why in the early 1940s, the “Saf-T-Pop” was introduced by the Curtis Candy Company that placed the lollipop candy at the end of a rope-like handle that was flexible and safe for children to eat while they were playing.

a round piece of hard candy on the end of a stick (source: Merriam Webster).

The English word lollipop is maybe related to loll, to dangl, (the tongue) + pop, strike/slap. Or the first element may be northern dialectal lolly, the tongue.
Dutch lolly comes from English lollipop.
Spanish piruleta probably comes from Italian piroletta or piruletta, from French pirouette, from pied, foot, and rota, wheel.
Italian leccalecca comes from leccare, to lick.

Lollipop in other languages:
Dutch: de lolly
Spanish: la piruleta
Italian: il leccalecca


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