Jimmies

Those little chocolate thingees you ask the guy at the ice-cream store to put on top of your cone. The multi-colored ones are "sprinkles."

Ron's Ice Cream in Dedham Center still knows the difference:

Jimmies!

Glossary: 

Comments

re: Jimmies

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Yah.I sprinkckled lots of Jimmies in Brighams, across the steet from the Pahk street church

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re: Jimmies

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Someone at school told me that jimmies is actually a racial slur related to the Jim Crow laws ('course, she was from Jersey)...anyone else heard this?

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amanda, i think that's true.. someone's told me that before.i was at the barnstable county fair a few years ago, and asked for jimmies on my ice cream. the guy looked at me like i had 5 heads :-P

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re: Jimmies

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A couple a guys I knew in college who were from New Jersey were confused when I told them I had jimmies on my ice cream. They explained that in NJ jimmies are condoms.

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re: Jimmies

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Yeah, I've heard that they're sprinles if they're multi-colored, and jimmies if they're chocolate, because it was slang for Jim Crow. And even if it's not true, enough people around think it's true, so I call them all sprinkles.

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re: Jimmies

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I grew up in Saugus, and we called both the colored and chocolate kind jimmies.

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Noooooo guys! You've got it allll wrong! The chocolate sprinkles known as, "Jimmies" were started in the Boston area a number of years ago. The reason for calling them Jimmies was because each time a person put these chocolate sprinkles on their ice-cream, the money spent on the sprinkles was donated to the Jimmy Fund. Hence, they started calling the chocolate sprinkles "Jimmies." I am not sure whether the money is still donated to the Jimmy Fund, but the act of kindness still lives on as the name "Jimmies" still continues.

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re: Jimmies

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Funny thing though I had some friends from Calgary, Alberta come visit Boston and when we went to get ice cream and I asked for 'jimmies' on top they started cracking up. Apparently 'jimmies' is slang for your private parts in Canada.

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re: Jimmies

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Actually, you're all wrong. Jimmy is a small, bat-eared mouse that lives in my bedroom. However, jimmy is also the name for your one eyed trouser snake, the impliments used for producing a cigarette containing t.h.c and c.b.d, a can i cant and any other small item you cannot remember the name for.

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The "Jimmy Fund" started about 15 years ago. Jimmies or sprinkles, have been around for 50 or 60 years. I have always known them as jimmies and sprinkles.I am in the process of opening an ice cream shop. I will try to find the correct answer.

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This is a story I found to help answer all of the burning question: "What came first? The Jimmies or the Sprinkles?"The beloved jimmy could be lostA sprinkling of history for a name that's melting away.By Michael VitezInquirer ColumnistWhich came first, the jimmy or the sprinkle?Evidence suggests the jimmy.A far more important question for local readers is: Which will endure?Sadly, the sprinkle.The jimmy - at least as a piece of slang, an expression of local flavor - is doomed."If it's not a dead term, it's a dying term," said Peter Georgas, vice president of Can-Pan Candy, the Toronto-based company that sells a million pounds of sprinkles every month."I will rarely, rarely get on the phone with somebody who asks me for a jimmy," he said. "And if someone does ask me for a jimmy, he's an older man."The fact is that jimmies and sprinkles are the same thing, which is almost nothing, a wisp of sugar, oil, emulsifier (don't ask!) and coloring.But by any name, the world consumes about 50 million pounds a year, according to an industry expert - about 1.3 trillion sprinkles or jimmies, give or take a few hundred million.Mostly, they're sprinkled on ice cream. But if laid end to end, they would stretch 2.3 million miles, enough to circle the Earth nearly 100 times.This region - from Philadelphia to the Jersey Shore - historically has been jimmies territory.Jimmies - not sprinkles - have been on the menu for 53 years at the Custard Stand on Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia."I don't bother people who call them sprinkles," said Vince Joyce, 21, a jimmies loyalist and employee for seven years. "But if you call them shots or dots or ants or black beads, I say something: 'You mean jimmies, right?' "Right across Ridge Avenue, at rival Dairyland, jimmies have been on the menu since the establishment opened 30 years ago.The present owner, Michael Kiedaish, 32, grew up with jimmies and says he will never change: "When someone tells you that something's a jimmy, it's a jimmy."But hints of extinction are everywhere, even in his own store."The college people... they're all sprinkles," said Laurie Taylor, 23, who has worked the counter at Dairyland for eight years. "And the yogurt people are sprinkles. And kids all say rainbow sprinkles because it sounds more fun."I grew up saying jimmies," she confessed, "but from working here so long, I've started calling them sprinkles."Sprinkles are encroaching everywhere. Old reliables like Kohr Brothers on the boardwalk in Ocean City are holding firm with jimmies, but upstarts like Ben & Jerry's on Rittenhouse Square? Sprinkles.At Daddy-O's Dairy Barn in Mount Laurel, owner Rob Cotton grew up in Northeast Philadelphia calling them jimmies, but on his menu he lists them as... sprinkles!"The distributors all call them sprinkles, so that's what I put on the menu board," he said."This is the No. 1 question: Is there a difference? And where does the name come from? I must hear that three or four times a week."Here is some history:Back in the 1930s, the Just Born candy company of Bethlehem produced a topping called chocolate grains. The man who ran the machine that made these chocolate grains was named Jimmy Bartholomew."Thus, his product became known as jimmies," said Ross Born, the chief executive officer. He was told this story by his grandfather and company founder, Sam Born. Just Born registered jimmies as its trademark, and continued producing jimmies until the mid-1960s - which is why the name was so popular here.The trademark expired and soon after, Just Born stopped making jimmies.This account, however, has been disputed.The Boston Globe investigated the origin of jimmies last winter after a reader inquired about a rumor that the term originally was racist - the idea being that some people refer only to chocolate ones as jimmies, and rainbow ones as sprinkles. Perhaps, the reader surmised, the word descended from Jim Crow.The Globe found no evidence of this, but did cite a commentary in 1986 on National Public Radio by the late Boston poet John Ciardi, who claimed: "From the time I was able to run to the local ice cream store clutching my first nickel, which must have been around 1922, no ice cream cone was worth having unless it was liberally sprinkled with jimmies."Ciardi, the Globe said, "dismissed Just Born as claim-jumpers looking to trademark someone else's sweet inspiration." His jimmies had come first.The truth may never be known.But what is undeniable, according to industry experts, is that jimmies gradually gave way to sprinkles, a more vivid and appealing name.For example, a world leader in sprinkles is QA Products outside Chicago. It started making sprinkles 10 years ago - under the brand name Sprinkle King.When Vince Joyce of the Custard Stand on Ridge Avenue gives his customers jimmies, he gets them from a Sprinkle King box.For the record, a chocolate sprinkle includes cocoa and offers a faint chocolate taste. But all rainbow colors taste exactly the same, which is to say, have virtually no taste.This was confirmed by Kasey Dougherty and Kathleen DeMichele of the Dairy Queen in Ocean City. On a rainy day last summer, they conducted a taste test - blindfolded.Neither could tell pink from yellow from green."Nobody gets rainbow sprinkles for the flavor," Dougherty said. "They get them for the colors, and the crunch."

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re: Jimmies

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Neat article, thanks.Where I grew up, "jimmy" was what you did to a lock when you wanted to open the door without a key.

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In response to the comments of "Peter Georgas, vice president of Can-Pan Candy, the Toronto-based company that sells a million pounds of sprinkles every month", part of an article posted on 8/4/2004 - 1) why is the VP of a candy company answering sales calls, and 2) if I was calling Toronto and asking about a product, wouldn't I be using their terminology to talk about it? I wouldn't go to Starbucks in Seattle and ask for a medium regular coffee just because that's how I get a coffee at Dunkin Donuts in Boston...you have to speak the language of the people you are talking to!

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re: Jimmies

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Actually the term "jimmies" and the Jimmy Fund could well be true. The comment about the Jimmy Fund being started 15 years ago is completely inaccurate. The Jimmy Fund was started well over 50 years ago. Common sense would tell anyone that it had to have been started over 50 years ago mostly because the Red Sox have been associated with the Jimmy Fund for 51 years. The Jimmy Fund has been around since the Braves were in Boston.

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re: Jimmies

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thank you lindsay, I think you make the most sense here.

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my hairy friend from IL didnt know what jimmies were at all but i did. jimmies were original invented to give jobs to homeless people from the streets they worked in the jimmie factorys. Mayor Jim Conelson started the program in 1973.

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re: Jimmies

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Jim Conelson was a stand up guy. My great aunt worked in the mayors office in the 1980's Aparently she only had good things to say about Jim and what he did for the homeless.

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re: Jimmies

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yeah- im from saugus too and we call them chocolate jimmies and colored jimmies...not sprinkles...

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I'm originally from Lexington, MA and my whole life I've defined jimmies as chocolate and sprinkles as those other ones (yuck!). Now that I live in Miami, I find it really difficult to find a place that uses the term jimmies, but I REFUSE to deny my roots and call them sprinkles. I will fight to the end for the word jimmies. As far as I know it has nothing to do with jim crow laws, but more to do with who created them. I'll show these Southerners what jimmies are all about! Wish me luck...

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I lived in MA for most of my life but I'm living in VT right now and working at a Ben & Jerry's, I get wicked happy when people come in and ask fuh jimmies cuz I know that they're from MA.-I call the rainbow ones rainbow jimmies.

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I grew up near Boston and for most of my 58 years the chocolate things have been jimmies, and local lore attributed them to fundraising for the Jimmy Fund.Imagine my surprise when, in my travels to the Netherlands last year, I found they put a REAL Dutch cocolate jimmies on buttered toast, and call it breakfast!

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re: Jimmies

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I live in Berlin, but I'm originally from the Netherlands. I'm always twice a year 1 month in Boston Mass. It was for me very strange that Jimmi's were put on icecream. Because in Holland you put "muisjes"(mice)or "chocoladehagelslag"(choclate sprinklers)on bread at breakfasttime. My american friends laughed very loud when they were in a Dutch hotel and they found Jimmy's on the breakfast table

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re: Jimmies

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i have been wanted to buy sprinkles, in bulk but only from the sprinkle king and i have no clue how to find the company to order them

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re: Jimmies

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I am in S.C.,but bon and raised in Mass, I asked for a ice cream cone with jimmies, and I got the look of death. Apparentley down here it means "balls". Oh well...I've lived in a couple other states (in Navy), but Mass is the best by far..

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re: Jimmies

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I live in Manitoba, and as far as I knew, sprinkles (jimmies) were the oblong chocolate thingies, but they could come in all sorts of colours. The round crunchy thingies were weird sprinkles that sometimes got put on ice cream. I hadn't even heard of jimmies until a found a website explaining the difference.

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re: Jimmies

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Living in WI forever, they have always been "jimmies" and forever will be in my book. However, I am starting to run into a problem, as trying to buy them is becoming almost impossible. Does anyone know where you can buy chocolate jimmies in bulk? Please help, the future of the jimmie lies in the icecream bowl of my children!!!!

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re: Jimmies

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My third grade daughter's teacher informed his class at the ice cream social that "jimmies" was a racial term and they should use sprinkles. I was shocked. Now I can see it being avoided for many reasons. I learned a lesson that day!

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re: Jimmies

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I looked up the definition of Jimmies in the webster dictionary (www.webster.com) and here is what I found:Main Entry: jim?miesPronunciation: 'ji-mEzFunction: noun pluralEtymology: origin unknown: tiny rod-shaped bits of usually chocolate-flavored candy often sprinkled on ice creamNotice that its origin is unknown. After reading this entire trail of comments on jimmies, I've decided for myself that jimmies is not a racial slur at all. I'd like to believe it came from the Jimmy Fund, but now the dutch may have some more history behind their use of it. Maybe, they brought jimmies over here and somehow they found their way into icecream.What I think is most interesting is that some people are saying the origin is in PA and NJ but I'm a firm believer that it was more of a MA thing. (I'm from MA too.)But I guess the mystery will never be solved. No matter, jimmies will always live on in good ol' Massachusetts!

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re: Jimmies

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Oh and one more thing. On www.webster.com, the definition of a "jimmy" (separate from jimmies) is as follows:Main Entry: 1jim?myPronunciation: 'ji-mEFunction: nounInflected Form(s): plural jimmiesEtymology: from the name Jimmy: a short crowbarI think this is some associate the term with breaking a lock.

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re: Jimmies

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I was once at a Ben and Jerriesi and i asked for "jimmies". The guy looked at me wierd and told me that the term "jimmies" is no longer used because it was racial term for african american baby's.

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re: Jimmies

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My brother and I were born and raised in Virginia but both our parents are Pennsylvanians who relocated as adults. We always called "sprinkles" jimmies. We put them on ice cream and cookies and my mother always had jimmies as a staple in our household cupboard. My brother just got back from Texas where he ordered some ice cream for his daughter with rainbow "jimmies" on top. The african american male behind the counter asked him if he was from the north. He said no... I'm from Virginia. He then said that he had only heard northerners call sprinkles jimmies and that only the chocolate ones were called jimmies and that it was a derogatory racial term for african americans. My brother is not a racist and merely wanted some ice cream with jimmies for his 2 1/2 year old daughter! We have never heard of such a thing as racial ice cream toppings! When did this world get so out of control? Perhaps some people have too much time on their hands. I obviously do as I am researching this on the net. Thank you for having this information in existence...if nothing else I will get a laugh out of it everytime I order jimmies. Jimmies 4 ever!

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re: Jimmies

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Here's the story I was told but the elders in my family. It seems like the story is too small to be the start of a big thing but judge for yourself. To me, it's chocolate jimmies and rainbow sprinkles.The word Jimmies originated during the great depression. There was a little boy celebrating his birthday. His mom managed to get a small amount of ice cream for her son and his friends to celebrate. To make Jimmy's ice cream special, she shaved the small piece of chocolate she had and put it on Jimmy's ice cream. One of the other kids tried to take it. And the mom said "That's not yours, that's Jimmy's".

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re: Jimmies

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you are all wrong...jimmies and sprinkles are the same exact thing. Jimmies adn sprinkles can be either choclate or rainbow.

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Absolutely NOT! Jimmies are brown and sprinkles are also called "Joeys" here. At least they were when I was little.

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re: Jimmies

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This is why I love the internet, think about it for a second, why or where else could this conversation take place. If you read all the comments above this one and are still skeptical or curious this is what I have come to know. I have lived in Boston my entire life and yes they have ALWAYS BEEN and ALWAYS WILL BE JIMMIES, kinda like god almighty. The name is not so improtant other than that "sprinkles" is a complete rip off of the original. The name even is lame it describes what you do with jimmies not what they are. I have often heard that the term Jimmie is refering to a black man's penis, not Jimmy fund, Condoms, Joeys, balls, or baby or anything else, all lies and all urban legend. The truth is that a Jimmie or Jim Brownski is slang talk refering to a black man's penis a jimmie hat is a condom that is fact 100% ask any well versed brotha like myself. or check it out do the research http://www.anthonyvitti.com/hiphopdictionaryj.html or this one http://www.urbandictionary.com/browse.php?word=jimmie or this one So please cut out the non-sense and recognize the truth!!! JIMMIE

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re: Jimmies

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I grew up in Michigan and went to college in Boston. My mother, who was a Yooper (Michigan slang for someone from the Upper Peninsula), always called them "mouseturds." Never heard them called anything else until I got to Boston. I was pretty much relieved there was a polite name (or names) for the things. And, while I don't think there's a racial connotation to "jimmies", I still only use that term in Boston. I live in Conn. now, where many Bostonisms like "grinda" are still widely used, but "sprinkles" always does the job without a blank stare. Maybe I will try "mouseturds" someday for the heck of it.

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i am cape verdean (black in my book) and will always say "jimmies" when referring to the infamous chocolate ice cream topping. only paranoid and closed-minded people would add a racial connotation to the term "jimmie" and it must be quite recent. i served in the military and traveled to many areas in the united states that required a weekly digestion of ice cream (in the south coffee flavor is mocha, don't ask me why), and i have never heard anyone say a word about the wrongness of "jimmies". if anything (where does that phrase come from, 'if anything'?), black men probably took the word for themselves, AS IF they actually had a sweet chocolate thingy (probably dated to the 70's/80's). eewwww! african-american babies...how friggin' ignorant. the worst i ever heard was (you know this candy if you're from south MA) chocolate babies - they're called n-babies in the south. yep. i can't eat them since hearing that. i can't eat toostie roll anything now that i know they are a reference to people of the tutsi nation in africa. i'm sure that widely-recognized commercial product name will never ever change. the dutch have it right - chocolate on everything!

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re: Jimmies

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In her poem Deer Dancer, Joy Harjo says a native American guy in a bar "jimmies" up to a woman and asks her what a nice girl like her is doing in a place like this. Any idea what the verb "jimmie" means in this context?

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re: Jimmies

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ihave a friend named jimmie and he is black and he doent like it win people say stupid shit like that about him.

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I thought is was jimmies and rainbow jimmies or thats what I always called the "sprinkles"

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There is nothing racial about the name Jimmies, and there no connection whatsoever with Jim Crow Laws. Jim Crow Laws were anti-African-American laws that many southern states passed following the Civil War, and they had nothing whatsoever to do with Massachusetts.Here's the story:The Brigham family of Boston was in the restaurant business in the early 1900's. In 1911, based on a bequest from the patriarch, the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital was founded. It later merged with Boston Lying-In Hospital and is now known as Brigham & Women's Hospital.Three years later, in 1914, a son, Edward L. Brigham, started an ice cream restaurant in Newton called Brigham's. It later became a chain of restaurants.In 1927 Sidney Farber graduated from Harvard Medical School and became a pathologist at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. In 1929 he became resident pathologist at Children's Hospital.Meanwhile, in the 1930's, a candy company in Bethlehem, PA called Just Born introduced chocolate grains that could be used as a dessert topping. The man who ran the machine that made the grains was Jimmy Bartholomew, so the grains became known as Jimmies.Fast forward to 1947. Dr. Farber established the Children's Cancer Foundation (now known as Dana-Farber Cancer Institute). The next year, 1948, Dr. Farber established a fund to raise money for children's cancer. A 12-year-old boy named Einar Gustafson became the poster boy. He attracted wide-spread attention after a 1948 radio broadcast.For the purposes of keeping the boy's anonymity it was agreed that the poster boy should have a more All-American sounding name.Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, where Dr. Farber first practiced, supported the fund. Brigham's Restaurants also decided to help raise money for the institute by offering to put chocolate grains on top of ice cream cones and sundaes for an extra penny. They got the grains from the Just Born Company, which sold them as "Jimmies." The penny went into the fund.The boy's nickname became Jimmy, and the fund became known as the Jimmy Fund."Jimmy" was a big fan of the Boston Braves baseball team (today they are the Atlanta Braves). When the Braves moved from Boston in 1953 the Red Sox took over as sponsors of the Jimmy Fund.That's how the sprinkles became known as Jimmies.

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re: Jimmies

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Having grown up in Boston I never knew jimmies as sprinkles not even the colored ones. My siblings and I always called them rainbow jimmies. When I worked at J.P. Licks I never heard people refer to the colored ones as sprinkles only jimmies. It was'nt until I moved to Texas last year and ordered jimmies on my ice cream that I truly realized that I am a true Bostonian.

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I've heard jimmies called "shots"--I kid you not. Anybody know where that comes from? Is that a hyper-local slang from the Cape or the South Shore or did I hear that out of state? Speaking of "I kid you 'not'" as a phrase, I've yet to see any reference to the pronunciation I hear on the South Shore where the "t" at the end of some words comes out sort of like a non-resonant rolled "r"--a slightly fluttering sound. I'm not sure how to describe it in writing. You hear it in some Irish accents but the folks I've heard use that pronunciation down Cape are many generations from Ireland. This is a fascinating message board. I was rolling, reading about the "Review" mirror!

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You may be true to calling them "Jimmies", but be careful where you use it. I'm from CA, and I've never heard it as a racial term (the southerners usually know all those), but I heard it and I thought the person was talking about condoms, as in derived from 'jimmy hats'. And "Jimmy" (sing.) is vulgar slang for a 'johnson', not balls.

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I'm from MA and I'm living in OH and was ridiculed yet again for my "weird New England talk" today. OH is next door to PA which is supposedly where the term jimmies originated, so why don't people here use it?The whole racial slang thing is ridiculous. It's just a word for chocoloate ice cream toppings because nobody ever uses it as a slur. Have you ever heard it used in that manner? No, it's always used at the ice cream shop and that's it! Urban legends are stupid.

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Here is a web site where you can get the Chocolate Jimmies. www.allthingsdutch.com.Select "chocolate" on the left then scroll down to:5015 - Hagelslag-Melk is Milk Chocolate5016 - Hagelslag-Puur is Dark ChocolateEnjoy

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i'm from so.California, where i have lived almost my entire life (save a four year jaunt in NE between ages 3 and 7). everyone here seems to call the ice cream/dessert decoration things "sprinkles." when i ordered rainbow jimmies in my ice cream at coldstone, the guy behind the counter seemed to know what i was talking about but the three friends i was with were so confused. their response was something like: "whaaat? jimmies?! (laugh, giggle) what are you talking about?" aparently they had never heard the term before. i honestly cannot say where i first heard it, but that's what i call the "sticks," both coloured(rainbow) and chocolate. the coloured "balls" are sprinkles.

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All this talk of the term "Jimmies" dying out is a load of hoooie! I PERSONALLY have re-educated my son, members of Baskin Robbins, Chinese Buffets that often have soft-serve machines and other purveyors of fine ice cream that this is the CORRECT term for those lovely little gems that get caught in your teeth and melt just as quickly.If you are from the Boston area, or even consider yourself a New Englander, you carry the responsibility to ensure that this important word in our English language is kept alive and well.If I catch you in an ice cream parlor, Chinese Buffet or Grocery Store DARING to wear a Red Sox cap and asking for "Sprinkles", you are in for a good long talk on the history of "Jimmies" and will promptly have your beloved Red Sox cap replaced with one that has the letters "NY" on the front.Don't test me on this...I will make good on my promise!!! Ayuh!

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Just to let you know, the Jimmy fund was not started only 15 years ago. I know for fact it has been around for at least 40 years and possibly more. When I was 6 my father used to work for the jimmy fund on francis street.

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From the Shire, I thought for a long time that Jimmies were a racial slur but in fact are named after Jimmy Bartholomew, the man who ran the first "jimmie" machine that made these chocolate grains. Good times.

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I was born and raised on Cape Cod. I went to Four Seas for ice cream all the time, and as I recall, they were either 'chocolate jimmies' or 'rainbow jimmies'. 'Sprinkles' are those hard little spherical candies you put on top of your ice cream. I've only heard people from out of state call rainbow jimmies sprinkles.

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The Dutch call them "Hail" and do indeed eat them on toast for a kiddie-type snack-time treat. Also have seen them referred to as chocolate "shot". Most are tasteless and greasy feeling when eaten on frozen custard or ice cream.

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Eight years ago I drove two hours from my hometown in Wisconsin to another city in my homestate, ordered jimmies on my ice cream, was met with an annoyed blank look, then rephrased my request, got what i wanted, and left with a sense of wonder. More than anything, the look on someone's face when you use word in earnest that to them either is offensive, meaningless, or absurd in context, is a beautiful sight. Cheers to all of our subtle reworkings of language. Maybe someday your word or phrase will make it into the dictionary. Or at least on here, where it makes fascinating reading.

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i agree with alana...ive lived in RI (rhode island, NOT an island in new york) my whole life and we always said jimmies or rainbow jimmies for the rod-shaped ones, and sprinkles for the rainbow round ones.

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Growing up in Jersey, we always called both the chocolate and rainbows "Jimmies". I said this in front of my boyfriend's family on "the island" (Strong Island!) in New York..and they were hysterical. Said it must be a "Jersey" thing. I'm glad to see how widespread the term is (I see MA, RI, WI and PA in addition to NJ.) Makes me deduce that it must have come from a product name which was sold in these areas (probably the Just Born Jimmies from PA) rather than a racial term. I'm just happy that Jimmies wasn't a word that only my family used and another reason for my boyfriend to make fun of me!

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i'm so glad i'm not the only one wondering about this.i'm from VT(however, my grandma's a true bostonian), grew up in CT, and currently live in southern CA. i always have to stop myself here when i order "jimmies" because no one uses that term. what i use to rephrase is "chocolate shots". i never order colored sprinkles. ick.i stopped using "jimmie" altogether when it occured to me that it might be connected to "jim crow". unfortunately, i haven't found anything definitive on its origin so i just don't know what to think.

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re: Jimmies

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Jimmies forever! Not anything to do with race. Everything to do with the look, at most of them have about the same amount of taste as plastic on a couch.What about "grinder" for "sub sandwich"? I never hear that term anymore around here in Southeastern MA. I used to as a kid. Same with "tonic" around Boston for "soda". Out of use now. Let's not allow the same to happen to our beloved, "jimmies".

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re: Jimmies

By on

I'm Jersey born and raised. Jimmies are the long ones (yes, generally chocolate) and sprinkles are the dots (generally multi-colored), but the differentiation is the size and shape, not the color.

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re: Jimmies

By on

Here is the real truth behind the story, taken directly from www.jimmyfund.com (the official Jimmy Fund website). Enjoy.The Jimmy Fund started in 1948 when the Variety Club of New England (now the Variety Children's Charity of New England) and the Boston Braves baseball team joined forces to help a 12-year-old cancer patient dubbed "Jimmy." On a national radio broadcast, millions heard the boy visit with his heroes from the Braves as they stood by his hospital bed. Contributions poured in from people everywhere, launching an effort that continues to bring hope to thousands of children and adults facing cancer throughout the world.Join this more than 50-year tradition of support by making a gift to the Jimmy Fund.Make a gift nowMilestones in the history of the Jimmy Fund1948The Jimmy Fund is launched with the help of the Variety Club of New England (now the Variety Children's Charity of New England). The club organizes a radio broadcast from the bedside of a young cancer patient dubbed Jimmy as he is visited by members of the Boston Braves baseball team. Contributions pour in to buy Jimmy a television set so he can watch the Braves play.1949The Jimmy Fund/Variety Children's Charity Theater Program begins.1953Boston Red Sox owners Tom and Jean Yawkey adopt the Jimmy Fund as the team's official charity when the Braves move to Milwaukee. The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association also names the Jimmy Fund as its official charity.1967The 1967 Boston Red Sox "Impossible Dream Team" votes to give the Jimmy Fund a share of its winnings from the World Series.1977The first Jimmy Fund council, the Jimmy Fund Council of Greater Boston, is established. Learn more1980The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, the cross-state bicycle ride that has grown into the Jimmy Fund's single largest fundraising event, is founded.1983The first annual Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl? ice cream extravaganza is held on the Boston Common. Jimmy Fund Golf is officially organized.1989The Boston Marathon? Jimmy Fund Walk begins with help from Boston Marathon organizers, the Boston Athletic Association.1991Stop & Shop teams up with the Boston Red Sox to raise $1 million through the Triple Winner Game, a scratch card game that Stop & Shop customers can play by contributing $1 to the Jimmy Fund.1998The Jimmy Fund celebrates 50 years of progress in the fight against cancer. Just in time for the celebration, Einar Gustafson, the original "Jimmy," who gave the charity its name, returns to Dana-Farber. A symbol of hope for thousands of children and adults in their fight against cancer, "Jimmy" attended numerous events, becoming a faithful supporter of the Jimmy Fund until his death at age 65 in January 2001.2000Joining Stop & Shop in supporting the Jimmy Fund through cause marketing are Jiffy Lube (1997), Taco Bell (1999), Dunkin' Donuts (1999), Hyundai Motor America (2000), and Burger King Restaurants (2000).2003The Boston Red Sox, the Jimmy Fund, and the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association celebrate the 50th anniversary of teaming up to strike out cancer.2005The 4th Annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon raises a record $2.36 million over 16 broadcast hours. The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge leads the nation in dollars raised by an athletic fundraising event by presenting $23 million to the Jimmy Fund.TodayThe efforts of hundreds of thousands of dedicated Jimmy Fund supporters continue to allow Dana-Farber to make remarkable progress in the fight against cancer. Please join us today.

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re: Jimmies

By Erin on

My kids love a BAND called THE JIMMIES...They play rock and roll for children and I'm pretty sure they intended to refer to the more wholesome sprinkle definitions...

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re: Jimmies

By on

Yesterday i had an argument with my coworker about getting ice cream and i simply said "i want softserve twist with jimmies on it!" and my coworker who is a african american told me that your not supposed to say jimmies because its a racist word against african americans. Well me being from Boston and have called chocolate sprinkles "Jimmies" my whole life laughed and asked how? and she said that its a racial slur because people called it that because jimmies look like little black people? I laughed and said I wasnt gonna stop calling them jimmies because of some ridiculous thing like that. I would never use that word in a derogatory way like that and she said i wasnt being sympathetic because i'm not the "minortity in the situation" and then went and said i might as well be calling her the "N" word.we arent talking because now she thinks im a racist and I cant believe she is calling me a racist.THEY ARE JUST JIMMIES!

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re: Jimmies

By on

I wonder if your coworker thinks "redskin peanuts" are a slur against Native Americans.I think we've definitively proven here that a common word like "jimmie" can have multiple derivations and multiple meanings. To claim that one meaning supercedes any other is ridiculous.

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re: Jimmies

By on

You're all wrong. Everyone here in CT calls Sprinkles and Jimmies by a different name. Here everything falls under one catagory. "Shots"

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re: Jimmies

Maybe if Boston were in Connecticut, you'd have a point. BUT IT ISN'T.

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re: Jimmies

By on

in Orange County, CAJimmies Means CONDOMSSo the first time I heard this from my friends cousin from Boston. I was floored I wondered why she was telling me this info when I just met her. I was shocked to know that she was talking about chocolate sprinkles

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re: Jimmies

By on

I live in central Connecticut and we always called them jimmies. The words "sprinkles" and "shots" were foreign to me.

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re: Jimmies

By on

Wow,I am 38 yrs. old, from NH and have always used the term jimmies. I was just told today that at our sweet shop they had to change the name of jimmies to "sprinkles" because a patron put up a big fuss saying that jimmies was a racial slur. I had never heard that before. If that were the case then why is it if you google images of jimmies, jimmies of all colors come up?? Who came up with the idea it was a slur??

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re: Jimmies

By on

I like jimmies, but only on a perfect summer day.

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re: Jimmies

By on

In Pittsburgh, PA the terms "jimmie" or "sprinkle" denotes the shape only (jimmies oblong, sprinkles are spheres). Either may be chocolate or rainbow, so, a Pittsbugher, given a choice would order: "Chocolate jimmies", or "rainbow sprinkels"... and vice versa.JB

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re: Jimmies

By on

well im in the air force and been all around the world and no one know the diffrence between jimmyies and sprinkcles it crazy damn i can't wait to move back home

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re: Jimmies

By on

I worked in Montilio's icecream and bakery in Hingham, MA when I was a kid, and not once did I hear anyone ask for "shots". It was 99% jimmies or an out-of-stater asking for sprinkles. So if it's local slang, it ain't from the South Shore, unless you're talking P-town!!Also, for anyone from the South Shore, remember Wilbur's North in north Scituate? (2 locations actually, this is not the one near the harbor) They sold real chocolate jimmies called "Billies". Much better than the waxy jimmies. I miss that place!And what is that previous poster talking about, fluttering T's in the South Shore??? ??!!??

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re: Jimmies

By on

HI,I am trying to find a machine that holds choclate and rainbow jimmies for ice cream cones. Can you help me.Thank you

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re: Jimmies

By on

I've spent most of my life in New England, but am now living in Michigan. One of my kids came home today and asked me how come what he calls "jimmies", everyone here calls "sprinkles", so I've spent some time this evening researching this or my very persistant son. Here is what I found after much googling this evening. Thought I'd come back here and share it with you all:You're correct in your assumption that 'jimmies' is primarily a New England term for what the rest of the country (and probably the world) know as 'sprinkles.' 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. "Jim-jams" was later used to mean "little quirks" or "eccentricities," which also fits in with the candy sense. (Both "jim-jams" and "jimmies" were also used as slang for delirium tremens, but I think we can safely ignore that connection.)As for the ultimate origin of "jim-jam," the presumption is that it arose as a nonsense word, meaning nothing, except, of course, to ice cream sundae lovers.

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re: Jimmies

By on

My great-grandfather, grandfather, and mother all owned professional bakeries in Western Pennsylvania. They always used "jimmies" for the rod-shaped candies, both chocolate and multicolored. "Sprinkles" were little candies that had different shapes.I just bought a jar of the rod-shaped candies at a local supermarket in Phoenix. The manufacturer is Wilton Industries, producer of all kinds of baking supplies. What does the label say? "Rainbow Jimmies."

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re: Jimmies

By on

Chocolate jimmies or rainbow jimmies--never sprinkles, you interlopers

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re: Jimmies

I've never heard of jimmies, but if they come in chocolate, they they're for me. I love anything chocolate, and chocolate jimmies on ice cream sounds wonderful.

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re: Jimmies

By on

Jimmies, rubbish barrels, water bubblers and shoping carriages are all things that are beloved here in Boston.

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re: Jimmies

By on

Hey Bawston here is the TRUTH about the term Jimmies aka Sprinkles, this is what I was told long ago at the PEN STATE Creamery where I got my Ice Cream Training after 4 years of CULINARY School in 1976 JIMMIES is the term for any thing that is sprinkled on an ice cream cone, sundae or banana split and can be chocolate, chopped nuts, fruit sauce, multi colored candies or chocolate candy . Jimmies is usually considered a term used in the South and other areas of the country that are NOT part of the NORTH East USA

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re: Jimmies

By on

I'm from California and have always called the chocolate things on my See's Bordeaux (West Coast specialty candy) "jimmies." My kids have made fun of me for years about this. Thanks for giving me something to fight back with.

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re: Jimmies

By on

This is hilarious! Almost five years of discusstion on the usage and etymology of "jimmies". I'm from Vancouver BC and I asked my daughter to pass the jimmies. "What are you talking about, do you mean the sprinkles?". So I hit the internet to find out where the term jimmies came from and where it was used. It reminded me that the second day I was in Boston (I went to school there for five years). I went into an ice-cream shop in Hahvad Squeeair and asked for a cone. After the server dished it up, she asked me if I wanted "jimmies". I felt like I was in a foreign country (well I guess I was!). I soon learned what they were, but now, an hour later, I know more about "jimmies" than I ever imagined possible. For those wary of its disappearance, I will try and spread the word here. Someone should write a book. Hmmm. Maybe "The Sociopolitical Implications of the Usage and Etymology of word 'jimmies'. Aah, the wonders of the internet!

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re: Jimmies

By on

I'm from Philadelphia...we've always called them "jimmies", not matter if they're rainbow or chocolate...btw it has nothing to do with the Jim Crowe Laws:Jimmies were first developed by Just Born Candy Company, which was founded by Samuel Born, who immigrated to the US from Russia around 1910. Born opened a small candy-making and retail store in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1923. Soon after opening the Brooklyn store, Born invited his brothers-in-law, Irv and Jack Shaffer, to join him in the business. With his capable partners handling the factory and growing sales, Born was free to direct his energies to his many candy-related inventions.In 1930 James Bartholomew was lucky enough to acquire a job at Just Born, Inc. Bartholomew operated a machine that produced Born's latest invention, tiny hot-dog shaped chocolate sprinkly things. But what to call them? Born briefly pondered that question before deciding to accredit the name to the producer, Jimmy Bartholomew. The new product was named JIMMIES, which is still a trademarked name, but no longer made by Just Born.The dictionary definition for JIMMIES used to be "decorative things." They have also been called toppettes, shots, fancies, trimettes and sprinkles.When they came to Boston, (circa 1947) Brigham's was the first to promote JIMMIES and did not charge for them. In Boston, JIMMIES are to ice cream like mustard & relish are to a hot dog. Brigham's has continued the long tradition of serving JIMMIES free of charge on ice cream cones and dishes.

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re: Jimmies

By on

I am a 52 year old Southern gal, grew up a "military brat" and have lived from coast to coast and border to border and EVERYWHERE I have ever lived they have been called "jimmies" if they're chocolate and "sprinkles" if multi-colored. I came onto this site hoping to find the origin of the word for my granddaughter and quite frankly, I have never in my life been told that it was some sort of racial slur. Matter of fact, anytime and anywhere I have asked for "chocolate jimmies" I have always gotten them. Everyone knows what they are and noone seems to be offended by the term.

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Re: Jimmies

By on

Noooooo guys! You've got it allll wrong! The chocolate sprinkles known as, "Jimmies" were started in the Boston area a number of years ago. The reason for calling them Jimmies was because each time a person put these chocolate sprinkles on their ice-cream, the money spent on the sprinkles was donated to the Jimmy Fund. Hence, they started calling the chocolate sprinkles "Jimmies." I am not sure whether the money is still donated to the Jimmy Fund, but the act of kindness still lives on as the name "Jimmies" still continues.

It is true they did that but it began after people began saying jimmies. The original use of the phrase began in the 1970's, when James, "Jimmy" O'Connell would always add extra chocolate sprinkles on every cone. Even when he wasn't there, customers would ask for "Jimmy's", which evolved into Jimmies.
And that, my readers, is the truth

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Jimmy Fund

By on

"The Jimmy Fund was started 15 yrs ago" do some fact checking before you post something. The Jimmy Fund was started in the year...1948 !! whereintheworld did you get the information that it began 15 yrs ago?! it is shocking what passes for knowledge these days.

anyway back to the original topic of JIMMIES. any true blue New Englander knows that ice cream Jimmies can only be chocolate.

thank you

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Let's not let the world take

By on

Let's not let the world take our Boston area language away. I was born in Waltham and it is Jimmies. My daughter told me that it was a racist slur, and now I have ammunition to argue that it is not. It was and always will be "jimmies" chocolate or rainbow. Big Brother would be proud of us, for those of you old enough to remember drinking a glass of milk every noon time and saying "a toast to the President".

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Jimmies

By on

It's an urban myth- they are named for their creator, James Bartholomew.

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Same situation, we are now in

By on

Same situation, we are now in NC but originally from the Boston area. We've gone to several ice cream stores and ordered jimmies and no one knows what we are talking about. However, we recently asked for jimmies at a new place and the young man behind the counter asked me to wait a minute. I heard him yell "Maryellen, some of your people are here". Maryellen came to the window and she is a Boston native. We had a good laugh and now we go there all the time for our ice cream and jimmies!

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Jimmies

By on

Yes, I also remember paying a couple of pennies extra for the sprinkles, or "Jimmies", and the pennies going into the can for the Jimmy Fund. Yes. I'm old. ;) But I believe this is the correct origin of the term. It was definitely a New England thing when I was younger - nobody from outside of the area knew what I was talking about.

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Jimmy Fund

By on

Hi there, I'm significantly older than 15 years, and I used to pay the extra pennies for the Jimmy Fund when I was a kid.....back in the early 70's.

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Jimmy Fund History

By on

According to the Jimmy Fund Organization, you are correct.
The Jimmy Fund started in 1948 when the Variety Club of New England (now the Variety Children's Charity of New England) and the Boston Braves baseball team joined forces to help a 12-year-old cancer patient dubbed "Jimmy." On a national radio broadcast, millions heard the boy visit with his heroes from the Braves as they stood by his hospital bed. Contributions poured in from people everywhere, launching an effort that continues to bring hope to thousands of children and adults facing cancer throughout the world.

The Jimmy Fund. (2010). History. Retrieved from: http://www.jimmyfund.org/abo/history/default.html

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Jimmies

By on

Hi choqokat! I am 45 yars old from NJ and as a kid I could also go to the penny candy store and get "chocolate babies" in a box. My grandmother is the one who informed me that we weren't going to be able to get them anymore because of the "implication" of what it meant. Just like "Sambo's" restaurants names got changed. I never heard the thing about tootsie rolls before. I had heard that tootsie was what he called his daughter and that's why he named the candy tootsie roll. Now for JIMMIES. My grandmother was from Philadelphia and I am born and raised in South Jersey. Both the chocolate and the rainbow have and always will be Jimmies. And yes some people here do look at me strange. It has nothing to do with racism or anything negative that's just what we have always called them at my house. People feel the need to make something out of nothing. My daughter is on vacation in Florida and someone just asked her why she calls them jimmies (he was from Canada) so she called me and I researched and found this thread. Imagine my surprise!!! Im going with the guy named Jimmy running the machine in Bethlehem! Long Live JIMMIES!

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JIMMY FUND IS NOT 15 YEARS OLD!

By on

Just Google it:

About the Jimmy Fund
Volunteer at a Jimmy Fund event

Since its founding in 1948, the Jimmy Fund has supported the fight against cancer in children and adults at Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, helping to raise the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world.

I am 64 years old, and remember the Jimmy Fund from when I was a child.

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origin of jimmies

By on

Lindsay, you are correct. The Jimmy Fund was named after my uncle in order to keep his privacy during his cancer treatments. Jimmies were offered on ice cream at Fenway park and the profit would be donated to the Jimmy Fund. The Boston Braves came to my uncle's bedside in the hospital at Dana Farber way back in the day to greet him. The entire meet and greet was on a radio show. Very cool.

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Uncle Einar! That's my

By on

Uncle Einar! That's my uncle. He was an amazing man. Thanks for contributing the truth here, Don! :)

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in NJ, jimmies != condoms

By on

I don't know who you talked to, but I'm born, raised, and live in NJ my entire life, and never one ever have I heard condoms referred to as "jimmies". The only thing "jimmies" means in the NJ/Philly are are "sprinkles" on ice cream.

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Jimmy Fund

By on

The Jimmy Fund was around in 1970 and in the 1960's...I know because I donated to them in 1970.

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Personally, I'm from Rhode

By on

Personally, I'm from Rhode Island, as are both my parents, and so I grew up calling "sprinkles" jimmies, regardless of whether they were chocolate or rainbow (the colored ones were simply rainbow jimmies!) I never really thought about the word much until I started attending school in NJ and people started looking at me funny when I asked for them. Strangely enough, while many people from outside New England seem to be confused by the expression, I also found that while I was in Portland (Oregon, not Maine) recently, I asked for jimmies (forgetting that I should assume the worker would not understand) at a Ben & Jerry's, and she gave them to me without a second glance. I also was told by my friend that it was a racist expression, but from what I've heard it seems that while it is possible that slaves were sometimes referred to as "jimmies" a fairly long time ago, that particular expression doesn't seem to be tied into the name for "sprinkles".

As another interesting little tidbit, my mother is French Canadian, and she grew up calling chocolate jimmies "crut de souris", or mouse poop haha

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I grew up in Portland,

By on

I grew up in Portland, Oregon, and everyone I heard always called them "sprinkles". And, when more specific, "rainbow sprinkles" or "chocolate sprinkles."

People have been flocking from all over to Portland in the last couple decades, though, and Ben&Jerry's is a national company, so I'm not surprised the employees would know what "jimmies" are.

As children, I'm sure I heard "jimmies" used as slang for part of a boy's anatomy. Example usage: "Give me the one with the chocolate sprinkles, or I'll kick you in the jimmies!"

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Where in NJ do they call 'em sprinkles?

By on

I have lived in South Jersey my entire life and everyone I know refers to them as jimmies whether they are chocolate or rainbow. I always thought that sprinkles were the little ball shaped things not the longer tube like toppings. So maybe sprinkles is a North Jersey thing? Definitely not South Jersey...

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After what appears to be 5

By on

After what appears to be 5 years of debate on this epic question of our time, I'm happy that I can provide a link that will allow you all to move on with your lives. Jimmies are not racist. They are not named after a charitable cause, they are.... are you ready?.... named after a guy named "Jimmy". Wow, who'da thunk it? Anyway here is the story from the trademark holders:

http://www.brighams.com/ice_cream/facts.asp

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Awesome thread. Wicked

By on

Awesome thread. Wicked awesome. I grew up with jimmies and will use the word so long as it's context-appropriate. While I'm aware of Jimmy and Jimmy cap as terms for male genitalia and a condom, respectively, we communicate with a language that allows for multiple meanings for many words. Should we boycott products by Johnson and Johnson just because we know it's a term for male anatomy?

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I'm 19 from central Maine

By on

I'm 19 from central Maine and I've never known them as anything other then jimmies, all colors. I don't know anyone that calls them "sprinkles." Isn't that what happens just before it starts to rain?

I stumbled upon this thread because I had heard that the word jimmie had started as a racist term.

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jimmies racist

By on

I don't know if the origin of the word is racist but I was in college in Mass in the 70s during the busing troubles and I can tell you that guys from south boston and dorchester walked around campus referring to blacks as jimmies and don't you lame red sox fans

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Jimmies is NOT racist!

By on

Hi Everyone!
I am completely against any racist terminology and call others on the carpet should they choose to use any such terms near me. However, I was told by a client of mine a few weeks ago that Jimmies was a racist term and was completely shocked. I was born in Massachusetts and have lived in NH for most of my life and have ALWAYS asked for jimmies on my ice-cream. I had always thought it was a New England thing. When my client told me this, I was horrified, that I had been walking around and being "racist" my whole life. So after that, I decided to look it up, snopes and the other sites do no have a clear definition of where the word originated but one thing is for sure, it is not racist. Amen! I thought I would have to start saying sprinkles to be "PC". I am 29 and still ask for my ice-cream to be in a dish, with chocolate jimmies (and I would say rainbow jimmies if I wanted those) and a cone on top! HA, yep, my husband will not order me an ice-cream because he says it might as well be for a 5 year old. But hey, that's how I like it, and I am glad to know that JIMMIES being racist is false! WICKED AWESOME!

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SPRINKLES is a verb!

By on

Your are not racist if you are ordering a product. I am not sure how the name Jimmies came to be, but there is no rhyme or reason to call them SPRINKLES - no matter what the color (yes, there are more than brown and rainbow). SPRINKLES is a verb - not a topping! The soda jerk SPRINKLES JIMMIES on the ice cream.

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Jimmies is not slang or racial

Here is the true story of Jimmies: Taken from the Urban Dictionary

Jimmies were first developed by Just Born Candy Company, which was founded by Samuel Born, who immigrated to the US from Russia around 1910. Born opened a small candy-making and retail store in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1923. Soon after opening the Brooklyn store, Born invited his brothers-in-law, Irv and Jack Shaffer, to join him in the business. With his capable partners handling the factory and growing sales, Born was free to direct his energies to his many candy-related inventions.

In 1930 James Bartholomew was lucky enough to acquire a job at Just Born, Inc. Bartholomew operated a machine that produced Born's latest invention, tiny hot-dog shaped chocolate sprinkly things. But what to call them? Born briefly pondered that question before deciding to accredit the name to the producer, Jimmy Bartholomew. The new product was named JIMMIES, which is still a trademarked name, but no longer made by Just Born.The dictionary definition for JIMMIES used to be "decorative things." They have also been called toppettes, shots, fancies, trimettes and sprinkles.

When they came to Boston, (circa 1947) Brigham's was the first to promote JIMMIES and did not charge for them. In Boston, JIMMIES are to ice cream like mustard & relish are to a hot dog. Brigham's has continued the long tradition of serving JIMMIES free of charge on ice cream cones and dishes.

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Uhh...

By on

If your story is accurate, then it's not a racial slur, but I'm pretty sure it's still slang. That being said, linguists argue about what constitutes slang, because some feel that each subculture should be considered a formal dialect, etc. Still, the word wouldn't be used without quote marks and/or a definition in a formal report about Cups or Cones: Frozen Dessert Consumption Habits Among New England Families or something.

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I grew up in Maine and we

By on

I grew up in Maine and we said jimmies for any kind (not just chocolate). My roommate from MA insists that only the chocolate ones are called Jimmies.. therefore it must be racist. I have been looking it up. From what I have read, it looks more like any name coined for a product-- not some strange racial slur name for a chocolate or rainbow candy.

As some other people have pointed it.. often racist things are a bit more obvious than that-- i.e. people of my mom's generation calling Brazil Nuts N***** toes. (I can't believe people called them that)-- the only racist connection people seem to have is 1.) It has something to do with "Jim Crow" (and how exactly did one leap from Jim Crow--> Jimmy --> chocolate candies? I have never heard of people using "Jimmy" as a racial slur... anyone?) and 2.) It must be racist because only the brown one's are called jimmies.

My roommate didn't seem to believe me that growing up in Maine we called them ALL jimmies, regardless of the type. I think people just assume that something is racist sometimes, if they "heard it somewhere".

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