Damien Hall djh514 at YORK.AC.UK
Sat Apr 3 19:33:06 UTC 2010

My first Twitter-inspired ADSL query: the origins of _popsicle_ (which I
now learn is a trademarked name).

One of the people I follow mentions the story that the word comes from the
inventor's children, who called it "Pop's sicle"; the inventor, Frank
Epperson, had apparently called it an _epsicle_, presumably a blend of

<ep>(-person) + (i-)<sicle>.

OED is 'uncertain', saying it's possibly

(lolli-)<pop> + (i-)<sicle>

(the usual BrE name for these things is 'ice lolly', presumably an
abbreviation of 'lollipop')

The online version of MW that I have access to says nothing about the
possible etymology, nor does Barry Popik's website. As I don't know about
food etymology, but 'I know a man who does', I'm copying Barry in here
(with the address he used when he was a member of the list) in case he has
any comments; anyone else? The "Pop's sicle" story seems to me possible but
unlikely, as too convenient!


Damien Hall

University of York
Department of Language and Linguistic Science
YO10 5DD

Tel. (office) +44 (0)1904 432665
     (mobile) +44 (0)771 853 5634
Fax  +44 (0)1904 432673



The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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