What Do the “M”s in “M&Ms” Stand For? And Who is the “Tootsie” in a Tootsie Roll?

Author not attributed. From Dictionary.com

Still slogging through your kids’ excess Halloween stash? You’ve probably begun to wonder what the names on many of those wrappers mean. Here’s the meaning behind the names of a few popular (and chocolately) confections.

• Forest Mars, Sr. saw soldiers eating hard-shelled chocolates during the Spanish Civil War, inspiring the mass production of M&Ms about a decade later in a Newark factory. The candy was named after the surnames of the company’s founders: Forrest Mars and William F.R. Murrie.

• Believe it or not, one of the most beloved candy bars is named after a horse. The Mars family named the candy bar Snickers after their favorite, deceased race horse. Of course, to snicker means “to laugh in a half-suppressed, indecorous or disrespectful manner.” It relates to a Dutch word and is probably intended to mimic the sound of a snicker.

(On a related sugary note, what is soft about a soft drink? Get the answer, here.)

• Tootsie Rolls were the creation of Leo Hirshfield, an Austrian immigrant who had a small store in New York City. He named the candy after his daughter Clara, who was nicknamed “Tootsie.” Now, 64 million Tootsie Rolls are produced each day. A tootsie has come to possess both the wholesome sense of “sweetheart,” as well as the less savory connotation of “prostitute.”

• The Milky Way Bar was not named after the Earth’s galaxy. The brand was inspired by the malted milk drink, which was popular in the 1920s. The company’s intention was to put “chocolate malted milk in a candy bar.”