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:
• 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, and introduced the candy bar in 1930. 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.
• During the Spanish Civil War, Forrest Mars, Sr. saw soldiers eating hard-shelled chocolates, 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 Murrie.
(On a related sugary note, what is soft about a soft drink? Get the answer, here.)
• Another Mars product, 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.
• Tootsie Rolls were the creation of Leo Hirshfield, an Austrian immigrant who had a small store in New York City in the late 1800s. 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.”
Are there names of other sweet treats that you’d like us to explore? Let us know about them below.