[Ads-l] "shave ice" discovered by the Times (UNCLASSIFIED)

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 20 19:17:50 UTC 2016

I would discount the 1897 reference, because it is a drink, cooled with shaved ice - and not shaved ice as the main course, with syrup flavoring.  There are dozens of drink references going back to the 1850s that describe using shaved ice.  

But another 1897 reference from the same store may antedate "shake," short for a milk shake (etymonline lists 1911 as earliest):

Evening Bulletin (Honolulu), October 28, 1897, page 2. Chronicling America.

"What is nicer and more refreshing than a fresh egg shaken up with pure milk, shaved ice and flavored to suit your taste with fresh syrups; invest 10c. and try one.  Also shake made with pure milk and any desired flavor 5c."

The 1907 reference to the "snowball" in Jamaica is interesting.

Coincidentally, I enjoyed a nice "shave ice" in Kailua a few days ago and it was delicious.  Properly shaved ice is about 1000 times lighter and fluffier than the icy snow-cones I ate at the fair as a kid.  They start with a paper cone - and shaved ice piled high above the top of the cone - so the whole thing is about three times longer than the cone - and twice as fat.  Just adding the syrup makes the clump of shaved ice shrink to normal eating size - half or 1/3 of the original; and it is still very fluffy, almost like newly fallen snow. 

> Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2016 16:43:58 +0000
> From: william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL
> Subject: Re: "shave ice" discovered by the Times (UNCLASSIFIED)
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Mullins, Bill CIV (US)" <william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL>
> Subject:      Re: "shave ice" discovered by the Times (UNCLASSIFIED)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Earlier still:

Honolulu _Evening Bulletin_ 21 Aug 1897 p 1 col 3

"The frequent call for cool drink at the Palama Grocery has induced us to set apart a window for the sale of cold drinks. Our milk shakes are delicious, nothing but pure fresh milk, shaved ice and the purest of flavoring syrup being used, which we sell at Celestial price, 5¢ per glass. H. Cannon, Palama Grocery, opposite Railway Depot, King Street"

(What is the reference to "Celestial price"?  To my way of thinking, the above is neither a milk shake, nor a classic Hawaiian shaved ice.  So . . . )

Honolulu _Sunday Advertiser_ 22 Apr 1906 p 13 col 1
""Snowballs," another of the native drinks, bring-- with them a delightful sensation of cooling breezes from our native shore, and on hearing the vender's cry we hurry to the gate and "beg you a glass" as is the custom here.  The cooling beverage is carried about the streets in a small hand cart covered with a roof, with bottles arranged around the open sides which  are filled with flavored syrups, a small quantity of which is poured into a glass filled with shaved ice."
(this quote is from an article about beverages from Jamaica)
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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