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Word for the Wise September 01, 2006 Broadcast Topic: Jimmies

A husband and wife pair whose business includes dishing up ice cream for children asked about the word jimmies. Jimmies, for those who don't know, are "tiny rod-shaped bits of usually chocolate flavored candy often sprinkled on ice cream." The word jimmies is sometimes used interchangeably with sprinkles and sometimes it is used to distinguish chocolate-flavored candy pieces from rainbow-hued bits. (来源:英语论坛 http://bbs.englishcn.com)

What do we know about the term jimmies? Except for the fact that jimmies made its first known appearance in print in the late 1940s, and that jimmies tends to be heard in the northeastern U.S., not too much.

Some say the word comes from The Jimmy Fund, a fundraising tradition of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute that began at the same time. But it doesn't. Others see an association between the dark pieces and the Jim Crow Laws enacted after the Civil War. But there's no evidence supporting that, either.

A third theory has it that jimmies were named for the fellow who invented them, and plenty of men have been put forward as the original Jimmy. Proving parenthood has proven difficult, however.

What we can pass along is this suggestion: why not join those who have done a blind taste-test and try to distinguish between one flavor and another? We bet you can't.

 
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