Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why I otter!

Let's stick with regional issues. A friend recently sent a note saying

I want to know if you've heard of any other names for the ice treat I'm eating in my profile picture.

What kind of ice treat is she eating you ask? Well...Freeze Pops or Freezie Pops or Freezer Pops or Flav-Or-Ice or Mr Freezie or Mr Freeze or Otter Pops. (There is an unfortunate polysemy with one of those.)

I had never heard Otter Pops. It was provided by one of our West Coast representatives. I assume the playfulness of otters has something to do with the name. You know--how they play around in the water like little kids do in the summer. Running up and down the Slip 'n Slide. Taking breaks to enjoy their regionally named flavored ice treat.

Any other suggestions for why they're named so? Any other names you've heard of?


  1. Hmmm... I grew up in Florida and we called them Otter Pops, because that was the particular brand we found there.

    This looks like a rare case, where a product is a recent innovation made possible by current manufacturing technology, and therefore had no name predating branded products and its industrial production. Yet at the same time, as a very low price treat, there was never any major marketing campaign behind any of them that left a long term mark. Hence no "Band Ade" popped up amongst the various brands. This is probably compounded by the lack of any particular patent; hence the original producer was unable to monopolize the product with a single brand.

    The pops produce condensation making them rather slippery, also adding to the "otterishness", and otters have had very little use as marketing mascots, despite being the kind of cute furry mammals preferred for the roles of children's and family-oriented marketing mascots. The cartoon quality of the otters was stressed, if I remember correctly the flavors were character names as well. It is likely they simply brainstormed for mascots they could use and otters popped up on the cute animal list while not being used by any other company.

    I do remember them being in the storage freezer out in my family's pool house; we often did have them when we were swimming as kids. Of course, I think behind these things is a wicked plot to cut up people's lips on the corners when they aren't careful...

  2. I used to eat "Otter Pops" when I was little (I remember Little Orphan Orange, Alexander the Grape, Poncho Punch, etc...) but they no longer sell this brand in Indiana. Do they? Either way, I have totally changed my language over to "Flav-Or-Ice" for the past 12-15 years.

  3. I remember Otter Pops. They were the rich man's version of Sno-Ice.

  4. Sno-Ice? That sounds more like a slushy or a sno-cone. I've not heard that one before.

  5. I buy those all the time, but they're usually generic store-variety and incredibly cheap; therefore we call them the dollar-for-fifty popsicles. Alternately, since you can refreeze them without losing the shape or taste, we call them the-popsicles-that-are-cheap-that-we-refreeze.
    I've never actually known that they had a "real name".


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