Is it s a lollipop or a sucker?

When I was a kid (in and around the 70s), I always referred to the spherical candies as lollipops and the flat circular ones as suckers. I thought everyone did – well at least I did until recently, having looked it up after a debate with some buddies. Most websites treat the words as synonymous, but I’m still not convinced.

Tell me that Kojack only sucked on lollipops. Anyone?

We had a thread a year or more ago in which I maintained that I’ve never heard the word “sucker” used for any kind of candy-on-a-stick outside of old Warner Brother’s cartoons (and I’ve lived in several places around the country, and traveled most of it). I was shouted down by others who said that “sucker” was indeed common usage in some places.

I’ve never used it anywhere in real life, for either flat or spherical candies on a stick, which are all “lollipops” to me and to everyone I know.

I’ve only heard of sucker in books but in plenty of books. I would never use the word. Sucker around here means an idiot who is easily taken, mostly for money! Lollipop will do.

Hmmm. First, I wasn’t able to access the forum search function, so apologies to all that this has been discussed. (still not sure why I can’t search). Second, apologies to all for the extra ‘s’ in my thread title (not sure why I can’t edit my post).

And third, I’ve definitely heard ‘sucker’ before (referring to candy, of course) in my part of the woods, Northern Ontario. I would go so far as to say that it appears to be more common on websites than ‘lolli’ for candy-on-a-stick. Anyway, I guess I’ll consider your post as one vote for there being no difference.

I’ll also chime in to say that I never, ever heard anyone use ‘sucker’ to describe candy-on-a-stick while growing up, at least in normal conversation.

On preview, I see I grew up in CalMeacham’s listed location, so it could be a regional thing.

Lollipop or lolly, sucker refers to the person sucking on the lollipop.

I grew up as an Army brat in the 70s and early 80s, and “lollipop” and “sucker” were pretty much synonymous.

When I was in fourth grade or so, those kids who fancied themselves as wits would impress their friends and devestate their enemies with this little gem of an insult:

A: You wanna come to my lollipop party?
B: Sure.
A: You’ll be the only sucker there.
Yes, I’m quite aware that shortly after fourth grade, “lollipop party” takes on a whole other meaning.

I called them suckers. Unless it was one of the really big ones. You know, the ones that’re almost as big as your head, and appear to be made from some kind of twisted candy rope. Those were lollipops.

When I was a kid (late '50s through '60s, southern California), hard candy on a stick was a sucker, period. “Lollipop” was an old-fashioned or sissy word that no one in real life actually used.

“Sucker” is flat and “lollipop” is spherical.


We called those “all-day suckers.”

In my home town in Louisiana, we had the opposite usage of both words. The smaller round ones were suckers because, you see, they were easy to suck on. The very big swirly ones were called by the old-fashioned name lollipops because they seemed more special.

We always called any candy on a stick a sucker (growing up in So Cal). I guess I say lollipop now because it just sounds more fun, but I don’t remember ever using the term or hearing it used while I was young.

  • Suckers are what you get from the doctor
  • Lollypops are those gigantic muthas (or suckahs, if you prefer)
  • and Tootsie roll pops are the spherical ones

That’s how I’ve always done it.

Sucker are any of the one’s that fit into the mouth all at once and you don’t have to always hold in your hand. Lolipops are the ones that are to big to fit fully into your mouth. No kids I hung out with would have ever asked for a lolipop reguardless, because that was way not cool.

Okay … so which of you will I consider the authority on the topic? Hmmm …

As for Kojak (why can’t I go back and edit that first message for spelling ?!?), what did he call it? I’m sure it was spherical and a lollipop.

A google image search (an authority, if there ever was one) of ‘Kojak’ and ‘lollipop’ will bring several images up. Substitute ‘sucker’, and nothing. Of note, spell it ‘lollypop’ and you actually get an image of a spherical candy called ‘Kojak’.

Kojak took place in New York, and I grew up in New Jersey, where I never heard “sucker” used to describe candy-on-a-stick. Since it wasn’t Southern California, Louisiana, or Canada, my bet is that Kojak called it a “lollipop”. Even though he was cool.


Anybody else hate getting these kind for Halloween?