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Where Did The Name “Lollipop” Come From?

July 20th recognizes National Lollipop Day as a way to celebrate this enduring and ever-popular treat. Pick up your favorite flavor to savor!

  • The first known use of the word lollipop was in the mid-1780s. Charles Dickens used it to refer to stick-less candies.
  • In the United States, confectionaries and medicine shops as early as the 1860s sold lollipops in various forms.
  • George Smith of New Haven, Conn., in 1908 invented the modern-style lollipop.
  • In 1931, Smith trademarked the name which came from his favorite racing horse, Lolly Pops.
  • 1934 – In the movie Bright Eyes, Shirley Temple sang the song “On the Good Ship Lollipop.”
  • 1939 – The Wizard of Oz brought us a world of characters, including the Lollipop Guild. Armed with a giant spiral sucker, The Lollipop Guild welcomed Dorothy to the Land of Oz.
  • 1969 – How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? The Tootsie Pop (the trademark name for Tootsie Roll’s lollipop) commercial debuted on U.S. television. The 60-second advertisement included a boy, cow, fox, turtle, owl and the narrator.
  • 1973-1978 – How do you make a lollipop look tough? Put it in the hands of Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak. The lollipop-loving detective was played by Telli Savalis in the TV series Kojak. At the same time, the candy did no harm to the tough guy’s persona.
  • Lollypop means “tongue slap” because “Lolly” meant tongue and the word “pop” means slap in old English.
  • Russian immigrant Samuel Born also contributed to the development of Lollipop candies. In 1912, he invented a machine that can insert a stick into a candy. To honor the invention, people named the machine Born Sucker Machine.
  • Cotton Candy is the most common flavor for lollipops.
  • Dum Dum’s mystery flavor is a pretty simple recipe. They’re created as one flavor batch is running out and the next one is beginning, whatever those two may be.
  • Dum Dums were originated by Akron Candy Company in Bellevue, Ohio, in 1924. I.C. Bahr, the early sales manager of the company, named the ball-shaped candy on a stick and figured Dum Dums was a word any child could say.
  • The world’s largest lollipop was made in 2012. The confectioner behind the job was See’s Candies of California, and their creation weighed over seven thousand pounds. It was chocolate-flavored.
  • The original lollipop machine would produce 40 Lollipops per minute but the modern ones make 5,900 a minute.
  • In the Midwest, Lollipops are known as Suckers.
  • The term ‘lollipop’ was recorded by English lexicographer Francis Grose in 1796.
  • The world’s largest lollipop maker, Tootsie Roll, turns out 16 million lollipops per day.
  • How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop?
    • Purdue University A group of engineering students from Purdue University reported that its licking machine, modeled after a human tongue, took an average of 364 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
    • Twenty of the group’s volunteers assumed the licking challenge unassisted by machinery and averaged 252 licks each to the center.
    • University of Michigan Not to be outdone by a Big Ten rival, a chemical engineering doctorate student from the University of Michigan recorded that his customized licking machine required 411 licks to reach the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop. (411-364. Go Blue!).
    • Bellarmine University Bellarmine University in Louisville recently completed its own controlled study to get an answer to the age-old question.  With 130 participants they recorded their findings by gender, the amount of time taken, and even the color of the tootsie pop. You can read all about their experiment here.
    • Swarthmore Junior High School Rejecting the notion that one needed active college status to undertake the Tootsie Pop licking challenge, a group of junior high students at Swarthmore School used human lickers, reporting an average of 144 licks to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop.
  • Chupa Chups are the most popular lollipops in the world. The Chupa Chups logo was designed by famous artist Salvadore Dali.
  • Lollipops can be used to carry medicines. Flavored lollipops containing medicine are marketed for children and are also used in the military due to the fast-acting ingredients.


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