What do the Ms in “M&M” stand for? And who is the “tootsie” in a Tootsie Roll?

trick or treat, m&ms, tootsie roll

Dreading the Halloween stash? You’ve probably begun to wonder what the names on many of those wrappers mean. Here’s the meaning behind the names of a few popular confections.

• Forest Mars, Sr. saw soldiers eating hard-shelled chocolates during the Spanish Civil War, inspiring the mass production of M&Ms about a decade later in a Newark factory. The candy was named after the surnames of the company’s founders: Forrest Mars and William F.R. Murrie.

• Believe it or not, one of the most beloved candy bars is named after a horse. The Mars family named the candy bar Snickers after their favorite, deceased race horse. Of course, to snicker means “to laugh in a half-suppressed, indecorous or disrespectful manner.” It relates to a Dutch word and is probably intended to mimic the sound of a snicker.

(On a related sugary note, what is soft about a soft drink? Get the answer, here.)

• Tootsie Rolls were the creation of Leo Hirshfield, an Austrian immigrant who had a small store in New York City. He named the candy after his daughter Clara, who was nicknamed “Tootsie.” Now, 64 million Tootsie Rolls are produced each day. A tootsie has come to possess both the wholesome sense of “sweetheart,” as well as the less savory connotation of “prostitute.”

• The Milky Way Bar was not named after the Earth’s galaxy. The brand was inspired by the malted milk drink, which was popular in the 1920s. The company’s intention was to put “chocolate malted milk in a candy bar.”

Are there names of other sweet treats that you’d like us to explore? Let us know about them below.

Sears to Spin Off Allstate // CEO Brennan to Retire After Biggest-Ever Deal searscouponcodenow.com sears coupon code

Chicago Sun-Times November 11, 1994 | Mary Ellen Podmolik Sears, Roebuck and Co. pulled the final plug on its diversification efforts Thursday, announcing plans to spin off Allstate Corp. next year – the largest corporate divestiture in U.S. history.

And when it is completed and the retail stores are standing on their own, Sears Chairman Edward A. Brennan will retire, leaving the only full-time employer he has ever had.

Plans to divest the remaining 80.1 percent of Allstate still owned by Sears – and force the Merchandise Group to sink or swim on its own – were approved at a board meeting late Wednesday, after six months of study. It will be the first time since 1931 that Sears has operated only retail stores.

“It was my decision and their approval of that decision, even though it meant I’d work myself out of a job,” Brennan said during an interview at his Sears Tower offices.

Vice Chairman James Denny also will retire next year. Brennan has recommended that Arthur C. Martinez, who was named Merchandise Group chairman two years ago, be elected chairman and chief executive of the corporation.

Sears’ announcement throws into question the future name of Sears Tower. The company sold the tower Monday to a trust. Denny said the name on the building would remain Sears so long as the company had a presence there.

But after the spin-off, most of the 200 corporate employees who work in the Tower will be reassigned, a spokesman said. They either will work at the Merchandise Group in Hoffman Estates or at Allstate, based in Northbrook.

As the spinoff is planned, shareholders of Sears will receive 0.95 of an Allstate share in mid-1995 for each share of Sears stock owned. Based on Thursday’s closing price of $24.12 1/2, the spinoff’s value is $8.68 billion.

A year ago, Allstate became the largest initial public offering in U.S. history, raising more than $2 billion for Sears.

After the spinoff, Sears estimates the aggregate dividend of the two stocks will remain $1.60 annually – 92 cents from Sears and 68 cents from Allstate.

Shareholders will vote on the proposal at a special meeting next spring, before the regularly scheduled annual meeting in May. Shareholders should receive proxy materials early next month. Sears seeks to make the distribution tax-free to shareholders, as it was for the Dean Witter spin-off a year ago.

Sears’ move was hailed by Wall Street, where its stock rose $2.75 on the New York Stock Exchange to close at $51.62 1/2.

Plans to divest Allstate come 25 months after Sears announced a wide-ranging corporate restructuring that included selling 19.9 percent of Allstate through an initial public offering, spinning off Dean Witter Financial Services and selling Coldwell Banker Residential Services and its mortgage and savings bank subsidiaries. go to site sears coupon code

Since then, critics have called for Sears to further unencumber the corporation by separating the insurance and retail operations. “The structure they had previously really wasn’t working,” said Rick Nelson, an analyst at Duff & Phelps.

“The whole issue is timing,” Brennan said Thursday. “It just wasn’t the right thing to do. Hurricane Andrew came in August, 1992, and the (restructuring) announcement was made in September, 1992.” At times, each company has acted as a crutch for the other. For many years, Allstate’s gains boosted a bottom line severely dented by sagging retail sales. In 1992, Sears lost $3.93 billion – its largest loss in history – because of damage sustained to policyholders in Hurricane Andrew.

After cutting some 100,000 employees and closing the catalog and unprofitable stores, the Merchandise Group’s bottom line has consistently improved. Last year, Sears recorded a record profit of $2.37 billion, largely driven by a turnaround in the Merchandise Group.

The turnaround “is not complete, but there’s no way we’d do this if we didn’t think the (Merchandise Group) was solid,” Brennan said.

Going forward, Sears and Allstate each must stand on their own. Analysts understand the wariness, but think it can work.

“The concerns are, does Allstate get smoked by a hurricane and does the Merchandise Group growth continue?” said Philip Abbenhaus, an analyst at Stifel, Nicolaus.

After the $4 billion remodeling of its department stores is completed, much of Sears’ growth is expected to come from expansion of other stores, such as the opening of freestanding Homelife furniture, Sears Paint & Hardware and Western Auto stores.

Sears also said it may sell Homart Development Co., its shopping center development arm. The subsidiary has assets of $2 billion and a book value of $500 million, according to analysts.

Mary Ellen Podmolik


  1. Jadon Janes -  October 29, 2013 - 10:47 am

    I think most people like candy, but its a matter of opinion.

  2. Best Catcher in Missouri#4 -  October 29, 2013 - 7:14 am

    Candy makes ppl so fat. And it sucks

  3. Best Catcher in Missouri#4 -  October 29, 2013 - 7:11 am

    Candy isn’t that good ppl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its soo nasty it makes ppl so fat

  4. ~Army Strong~ -  October 29, 2013 - 7:11 am

    All candy is good lets leave it at that. People…..

  5. brianna lancaster -  October 29, 2013 - 6:37 am

    what about snickers,almond joys,frotties

  6. brianna lancaster -  October 29, 2013 - 6:35 am

    what about almond joys

  7. Jill Marie Loremia -  October 29, 2013 - 5:54 am

    i like snickers!!! wew love it!!

  8. steph -  October 29, 2013 - 2:05 am

    How about Baby Ruth bars? They aren’t named after the baseball player, I’m pretty sure.

  9. somebody -  October 28, 2013 - 8:52 pm

    1. Licorice
    2. LifeSavers
    3. milk duds
    4. Nerds

  10. somebody -  October 28, 2013 - 8:41 pm

    What about Butter Finger & Kit Kats?

  11. anmoninous -  October 28, 2013 - 6:10 pm

    msveegee there is acually proof that the egg came first. There are genetic mutations so basically the chicken egg came from a proto-chicken (yeah im that smart).

  12. Mr.Hitler -  October 28, 2013 - 5:54 pm


  13. --A -  October 28, 2013 - 5:22 pm

    What about twizzlers, skittles, and kit kats?

  14. --A -  October 28, 2013 - 5:22 pm

    What about skittles and kit kats? Also try to find twizzlers

  15. Abigail D'Amore -  October 28, 2013 - 5:10 pm

    What about 5th Avenue.

  16. Chari -  October 28, 2013 - 4:58 pm

    Back when I went trick-or-treating, I ate the candy according to situations going on in my life.

    Smarties: I ate them when I got home from school with a really good grade. Cause I was smarty!

    Snickers: I ate snickers bars when I was watching the most hiiiiiilarious shows ever!

    Milk Duds: I only eat them at movies. If you don’t bite them or anything and just keep them in your mouth,they can last you a whole movie!

    Sour Patch Kids: When I felt masochistic because they don’t taste good and they aren’t good for you so what’s the point of eating them?!?

    Licorice: Never, I hated licorice

    Reese’s PB Cups: Whenever a Reese’s cereal or candy commercial came on

    Tootsie Roll: I limit myself to one every two days. I never have many and I LOOOVE them. My last tooth came out when I was eating a tootsie roll

  17. Julian C -  October 28, 2013 - 4:13 pm

    What about Skittles????? And 3 mousketeers too!

  18. julian c -  October 28, 2013 - 4:08 pm

    i agree with john boy!!!!!!!!!!

  19. sydaust022 -  October 28, 2013 - 3:39 pm

    i <3 candy!
    halloween is so my fav holiday, and every year i look into the names of candy. if i had a candy it'd chocolate and i would name it "Just Plain Chocolate" because that's the best way. dark chocolate is the best except for Reeses. i <3 whoever came up with that. but has anyone tried one of the most popular candies in the 80s: "Toxic Waste". It's so sour it has a warning label that says "Warning: Toxic. Extremely sour. Keep away from small children"! Can you believe that?!?!?!

  20. james -  October 28, 2013 - 3:00 pm

    thanks a lot people now I want candyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. NICK -  October 28, 2013 - 2:17 pm

    you should do TWIX and CANDY CORN and SMARTIES!!!!!

  22. Pbjlover810 -  October 28, 2013 - 1:47 pm

    mr.goodbar, baby ruth, crunch, lollipop, and skittles.

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