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Lollipop Vs Sucker, What Are The Differences Between Them?

Lollipop Vs Sucker, What Are The Differences Between Them?

Sweet to taste, fun to eat. Candy comes in many different shapes and sizes and sometimes goes by funny, quirky, curious names. Other times, certain regions or areas seem to have other ways of calling relatively common items, such as lollipops.

In short, lollipops are one and only, mostly round shapes or balls of caramel with a stick in them, enjoyed by young and old alike. The word “sucker,” on the other hand, can mean many things depending on the region you’re in. And among those meanings, it’s also a candy with a stick in it.

Let’s analyze the curious case of the candy on a stick and the dilemma that poses how to call it and why it is called differently sometimes (or in some places).

multicolored suckers

By Sheer Definition

A lollipop (grammatically a noun) is essentially a piece of candy or confectionery placed on the far end of a stick. Said candy is usually a ball, but sometimes it can be round and flat, or oval and flat, or basically any shape you can imagine. It will be called a lollipop so long as we’re talking about caramel candy. Other types of candy that are not caramel that can also be found on a stick (like taffy or cake) are not to be called lollipops. Candied apples are, of course, the exception to the caramel rule, as they are caramel-covered but not pops.

“Sucker” (also a noun), on the other hand, possesses a myriad of meanings. If we abide by the strict sense of the word, a sucker is one that sucks. To suck, as a verb, refers to the action of sucking with one’s mouth, in terms of using one’s lips and tongue to create a sort of vacuum that can extract something from someplace, most commonly breastmilk from the breast. So by this, we can assume that sucking is more common in very young babies or children, and a sucker will be (again, in the very strict sense of the word) most always a child.

In the not-so-strict sense, “sucker” is used to refer to someone who is gullible, innocent, easily tricked, conned, or fooled. This may arise from the fact that children are usually all these things, so it makes sense how colloquially, an adult with these characteristics may be called this way. However, it would technically constitute bullying.

Additionally, someone is referred to as a “sucker” for something when that person enjoys it very much. It works in the sense of being “crazy about” something or “passionate about” something.

Last but not least, we arrive at the very last use of the word “sucker,” which is only used seldomly by some people and most likely in some specific regions (or at least could be more common in certain locations). And it is the one in which “sucker” is used to describe a small caramel candy, most frequently round, at the far end of a stick. An educated guess would be that usually, said caramel candy is most commonly eaten, simulating a sucking notion (in the terms previously described with puckering of the lips and the motion of the tongue). Therefore, it could be assimilated and thus have the act of eating the candy used to refer to the candy itself.

Etymology And Other Scholarly Facts

The concept of eating caramel (which is basically boiled sugar) with the aid of sticks or other contraptions like handles seems to be quite medieval. Merriam-Webster reports its first documented use dating as back as 1784, being first recorded by Francis Grose, famous English lexicographer, in 1796. Its etymology has been attributed to either the term “loll.” Meaning “to dangle the tongue,” standard in the fourteenth century or “lolly,” which is an old northern dialect that means “tongue.”

The suffix “pop” has none of the old or new meanings to it relate in any way to caramel candy on a stick before it was started to be used in the word “lollipop.” After lollipops, pop has been widely used to refer to other sweets on sticks, such as cake pops, which are cake balls on a stick.

Lolly Pop, as a brand, doesn’t seem to have been in use before 1908, with its proper registration as a trademark dating as “early” as 1931 in the USA. According to some official recounts, the “invention” of the caramel candy on a stick called Lolly Pop can be attributed to one George Smith of a town in Connecticut called New Haven. This information, too, is conflicting, as reports vary from one source to another. For either lollipop or Lolly Pop, many trademark registrations appear to be spread throughout the world, protecting some goods or others and not necessarily related to food.

Sucker, on the other hand, also appears as a fourteenth-century word, not related to candy use. In the sense of candy, lollipops seem to be referred to as suckers in some areas of the midwest and the south of the United States.

Confectionery Business

“Lollipop” can be used to call most caramels on a stick. So the use of the word itself is pretty broad. Whether it is the American Tootsie Rolls or Dum Dums, the Spanish Chupa Chups, or the generic red hearts, all sugary treats, sometimes stuffed, sometimes plain, sometimes colorful, or occasionally solid, will commercially be referred to as lollipops.

“Sucker,” on the other hand, can be used to refer to either lollipop or lollipop kind of candy, as well as hard candies not mounted on sticks, such as mints.

That being said, let’s display some facts and, at the same time, try using both words in day-to-day sentences.

multicolored lollipops


  1. Lollipops are sugary confectionery.
  2. Lollipops are most commonly made of caramel, which is the result of boiling sugar.
  3. Lollipops are traditional treats for children to have as desserts, on birthdays, and in candy stores.
  4. Medical practitioners working with children all over the world use lollipops as treats for their patients.
  5. Some of the most famous lollipop brands are Tootsie Rolls and Dum Dums.
  6. Other lollipop-related sweets that use creative kinds or sticks are Ring Pops. Which are lollipops that resemble rings, and Push Pops, which use the user’s fingers as sticks.
  7. The most historically famous sucker in the world is the newborn human baby.
  8. I, myself, am a sucker for candy, and I enjoy it very much.
  9. I’m also a sucker for words with many meanings, and sucker is indeed a premium example of that.
  10. My brother is also such a sucker; he got tricked into buying worthless stock by a sneaky broker.
  11. Con artists are famous for telling suckers apart in a crowd; that’s how they make a living.
  12. On other matters, the best type of candy is, of course, the sucker.
  13. Sucker candy is also good, although it doesn’t come on a stick.
  14. Don’t be a sucker for pain. Let go of that relationship.
  15. Mario was sent to the principal’s office because he called Mary, Mark, Joseph, and Veronica suckers.

Wrapping It Up

Lollipop vs. sucker is yet another example of how words that are nothing alike, by pure act of fate, end up sharing a meaning, even if informally. Calling lollipop suckers isn’t the fanciest of things, though. It sounds a bit confusing as the word sucker, as previously discussed, holds many meanings, and the meaning itself is a bit unorthodox when referring to candy. All in all, it may be a thing, but in this case, the original name remains the best option.