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Author Topic: Jimmies or Sprinkles?
Syllavus
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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A few months ago when ordering an ice cream cone and asking for chocolate "jimmies" on top of it, my friend proceeded to smack me and told me that using the term "jimmies" was racist. Apparently, she said, the term "jimmie" was used to describe young black boys around the Civil War era or so. Hence when the little brown chocolate sprinkles came out, they were given the nickname "jimmies", at least this is what my friend says.

Now I don't know about anyone else here, but I grew up calling them jimmies just because that's what I'd always heard them called. Now I'm worried that when I order an ice cream cone I may slip and offend somebody. But I have my doubts. Does anyone have any information as to the veracity of this so-called "fact"? [Confused]

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Lola
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I don't know if that is true or not but one of my roommates was from Cape Cod and she always said Jimmies rather than sprinkles as did my Aunt who is from Rhode Island. So I always thought it was a New England thing.
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Spam & Cookies-mmm
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Dictionary.com provides no etymology. Sorry.

ETA:

The Shopping Place has a question from a reader, but no answer. The question does suggest that it's a New England Thing.

And here's a blogger who also wonders, and thinks it's a New England thing. She appears to have done pretty good research around the 'net and came up with this explanation.

quote:
According to the Dictionary of American Regional English, "Jimmies" is actually a trademarked term for a brand of candy (not necessarily chocolate) sprinkles, which they explain are "tiny balls or rod-shaped bits of candy used as a topping for ice-cream, cakes and other sweets." Although "Jimmies" is trademarked, my guess is that the term was in generic use for many years prior to the founding of Jimmies as a brand name. And while "jimmies," meaning chocolate sprinkles, first showed up in English around 1947, "jimmies" has also been used since around 1900 as a short form of the old English slang word "jim-jam." "Jim-jam," in turn, has since the 16th century meant "a trivial article or knick-knack," so it's not too great a stretch to see a connection there with candy "jimmies," which are certainly trivial.
Hope that helps.

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No Quarter
The Red and the Green Stamps


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It is a New England thing. Having lived on both the east and west coast, the only time I heard "jimmies" used was here in New England. They were always referred to as "sprinkles" anywhere else I went.


ETA: We also refer to the rainbow ones as "jimmies" too. So unless there were pink, blue and purple children running around too, then I don't think one has to do with the other. Hey for all we know some guy named Jimmy invented them!

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Johnny Slick
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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How about this, from the OED:

quote:
1. In full, Jimmy Grant. Rhyming slang for immigrant or emigrant. Austral., N.Z., and S. Afr.

1845 E. J. WAKEFIELD Adventure N.Z. I. xi. 337 The profound contempt which the whaler expresses for the ‘lubber of a jimmy-grant’, as he calls the emigrant. 1850 McLean Papers VIII. 177 (MS.), I consider Davy has done a foolish thing in selling his farm... I am glad it has not as usual fallen into the hands of ‘Jimmies’, usurpers of the soil. 1859 H. KINGSLEY Recoll. G. Hamlyn II. ix. 154 ‘What are these men that we are going to see?’ ‘Why one,’ said Lee, ‘is a young Jimmy (I beg your pardon, sir, an emigrant), the other two are old prisoners.’ 1878 A. AYLWARD Transvaal of To-Day xi. 216, I was a raw emigrant, and still what Natalians call a ‘Jimmy’. 1922 Daily Mail 11 Dec. 8 With his wife and child he had just come over as a ‘Jimmie-grant’. 1948 F. IRVINE-SMITH Streets of my City ii. 32 At the close of 1840, there were 2,500 settlers, or in whaler parlance, ‘Jimmy Grants’, upon its shores.

The only problem is, it's Aussie slang, not American.

John Craven

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
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quote:
Originally posted by JohnnySlick:
The only problem is, it's Aussie slang, not American.

And it doesn't appear to have anything to do with candy sprinkles.

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Barrytown
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Ah! So that's what jimmies are! I was getting so confused every time I watch the end of this Teen Girl Squad cartoon.

Barrytown

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The Otter of our Discontent
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The first time I heard "jimmies" used to describe ice cream sprinkles was in the Simpsons.

I belive Marge threw some at Parker Posey, who she thought was trying to have an affair with Homer.

"I can only see a horrible rainbow!"

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Syllavus
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Barrytown:
Ah! So that's what jimmies are! I was getting so confused every time I watch the end of this Teen Girl Squad cartoon.

Barrytown

Oh man that cartoon was TOO funny! [lol]

Jimmies is a New England thing huh? I never knew that! But then I also never knew that "bang a U-ee" was a New England thing too. And using the term, "wicked" to mean "very" [Big Grin] Us New Englanders sure are odd.

I'll have to send my friend a link to this webpage so that I can discount her officially. So does this mean that there are going to be people running around thinking that jimmie is an offensive term when really it isn't? Sort of reminds me of the guy who used the term "niggardly" in a speech and he was fired when in actuality niggardly doesn't relate in any way to the nasty term it sounds so similar too.

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No Quarter
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Syllavus:

Jimmies is a New England thing huh? I never knew that! But then I also never knew that "bang a U-ee" was a New England thing too. And using the term, "wicked" to mean "very" [Big Grin] Us New Englanders sure are odd.

We are nuts! "Wicked", "Pissa", and the infamous, "Pak tha cah in havad yad." In MA we drive on the "expressway", not the "freeway." We carry a "pocketbook", not a "purse." We use a "clicker" for the TV, not a "remote control." We ride the "T" not the "subway." We also "flip the bird" instead of "giving the finger."

While I'm sure some of these words/phrases are used elsewhere, they just seem to be so prevelent here in mass.

No "we now return you to your regularly scheduled thread" Quarter

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Lola
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quote:
Originally posted by No Quarter:
quote:
Originally posted by Syllavus:

Jimmies is a New England thing huh? I never knew that! But then I also never knew that "bang a U-ee" was a New England thing too. And using the term, "wicked" to mean "very" [Big Grin] Us New Englanders sure are odd.

We are nuts! "Wicked", "Pissa", and the infamous, "Pak tha cah in havad yad." In MA we drive on the "expressway", not the "freeway." We carry a "pocketbook", not a "purse." We use a "clicker" for the TV, not a "remote control." We ride the "T" not the "subway." We also "flip the bird" instead of "giving the finger."

While I'm sure some of these words/phrases are used elsewhere, they just seem to be so prevelent here in mass.

No "we now return you to your regularly scheduled thread" Quarter

"Wicked" and "Pissa" and "Pak the caa" always make me think of the SNL skit Sully and Zazu [lol] Nomaa! [lol]
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*Astrik*
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quote:
Originally posted by Barrytown:
[QB] Teen Girl Squad cartoon.


Awww, somebody beat me to it. [lol] I'm on a Homestar Runner forum where there was a conversation about that at one point. Of course, the one thing I didn't find out was where that term is used...

~Mazel "But now I know!" Tov!

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No Quarter
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Lola:
quote:
Originally posted by No Quarter:
quote:
Originally posted by Syllavus:

Jimmies is a New England thing huh? I never knew that! But then I also never knew that "bang a U-ee" was a New England thing too. And using the term, "wicked" to mean "very" [Big Grin] Us New Englanders sure are odd.

We are nuts! "Wicked", "Pissa", and the infamous, "Pak tha cah in havad yad." In MA we drive on the "expressway", not the "freeway." We carry a "pocketbook", not a "purse." We use a "clicker" for the TV, not a "remote control." We ride the "T" not the "subway." We also "flip the bird" instead of "giving the finger."

While I'm sure some of these words/phrases are used elsewhere, they just seem to be so prevelent here in mass.

No "we now return you to your regularly scheduled thread" Quarter

"Wicked" and "Pissa" and "Pak the caa" always make me think of the SNL skit Sully and Zazu [lol] Nomaa! [lol]
I think those skits are hilarious. I can't help but wonder, do people who have never been to Boston or know a Bostonian really get it? I mean, when I watch those skits I can think of at least 5 people I know who are sadly, just like them. I also knew a sully in high school.

So sorry to hijack the post!

No "Lets head to the packey before the kegger Sully!" Quarter

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ALadUnsane
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New England? Maybe all of the eastern Atlantic seaboard. I'm in Philadelphia and have always used "jimmies" as do South Jersey & Delaware folks. Was just in Norfolk, VA and THEY used "jimmies." So, the questions is - Who & where are all these "sprinkles" weirdos?
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Lola
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Raises hand! I'am a sprinkles weirdo, Long Island New York.
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Kill Eye
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Jimmies vs. Sprinkles
Jimmies For Sale
Balls?! I thought they were rods!
Oh OK, they are rods
Sea Mammal?
Bahstin Online sez they ah choclit

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StarlandVocalBand
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Jimmies, baby, jimmies.

It took three years of living in New Jersey to get me to stop saying "tonic."

And I still say "frappe" and "grinder."

(ObBabelfish: "soda [or 'pop']"; "milkshake [or 'malted']"; "submarine sandwich [or 'hero' {or "hoagie"}]".)

Oh, and "package store" (or "packie") = "liquor store" (cf. "off-licence").

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Lola
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by StarlandVocalBand:
Jimmies, baby, jimmies.

It took three years of living in New Jersey to get me to stop saying "tonic."

And I still say "frappe" and "grinder."

(ObBabelfish: "soda [or 'pop']"; "milkshake [or 'malted']"; "submarine sandwich [or 'hero' {or "hoagie"}]".)

Oh, and "package store" (or "packie") = "liquor store" (cf. "off-licence").

Only two hours away and such a different world! I feel like Lou the cop from the Pulp fiction episode of "the Simpsons", when he is explaining to Cheif Wiggam and the other cop about going into Shelbyville and going to McDonalds. [lol]
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Doc J.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by ALadUnsane:
So, the questions is - Who & where are all these "sprinkles" weirdo's?

London
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Raistlin
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Hmm... jimmies or sprinkles?

I say hundreds and thousands. [Razz]

But if I have to pick one of those I'd say sprinkles. Never even heard of jimmies.

Raist.

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
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quote:
Originally posted by ALadUnsane:
So, the questions is - Who & where are all these "sprinkles" weirdo's?

Northwest Florida

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Callie Cat
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quote:
Originally posted by ALadUnsane:
So, the questions is - Who & where are all these "sprinkles" weirdo's?

Canada

Callie.

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Brandi
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by ALadUnsane:
Who & where are all these "sprinkles" weirdo's?

California, I guess. I never heard the term jimmies growing up.

Also, while it's not about jimmies or sprinkles, you might want to look at this.

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ALadUnsane
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quote:
Originally posted by Brandi:
quote:
Originally posted by ALadUnsane:
Who & where are all these "sprinkles" weirdo's?

California, I guess. I never heard the term jimmies growing up.

Also, while it's not about jimmies or sprinkles, you might want to look at this.

Brandi,

I am such a dumbass. I'm looking at your reply for a while thinking, wow! I too HATE it when people mis-use the apostrophe. Then it hit's me like a smack in the kisser!! Damn! Guilty, guilty, guilty.

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Brandi
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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'S all right. I just hoped Bob would keep it funny...

The idea that jimmies might be a brand-name turned generic term seems plausible enough, especially if it was a very successful but not national manufacturer. I can't think of a California equivalent offhand, though it seems like I know of people who refer to any brown cola soda as 'a coke.'

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dewey
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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My jimmies story.

Many, many years ago I worked at Brigham's (Ice Cream Parlor) and had a young woman order an ice cream cone. I asked, "Do you want jimmies with that?"

She looked at me with surprise and drawled, "Jimmy's what?"

dew"former jerk"ey

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Brandi:
I can't think of a California equivalent offhand, though it seems like I know of people who refer to any brown cola soda as 'a coke.'

"What kin' o' Coke y'all want? We got Coke, root beer, Sprite and orange."

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