WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPRINKLES AND JIMMIES?

Posted by Turkey Hill Team on July 3rd, 2008


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That question started in the comments to our June 20 entry and we thought we’d continue the debate here. We also added a new poll (at right). Do you eat ice cream straight out of the box? Go ahead, be honest.

So what IS the difference between sprinkles and jimmies? Actually they’re the same thing, it just depends on where you’re from. If you’re a resident of Philadelphia, Boston and many parts of New England, you might ask for jimmies if you want those tiny cylindrical candies on your ice cream. New Yorkers and a majority of other people call them sprinkles.

So where does the jimmies name come from? Popular legend has it that the Just Born candy company in Bethlehem, PA began producing sprinkles in the 1930s and, since a gentleman named Jimmy ran the sprinkles machine, the product was naturally nicknamed after its maker.

Some people maintain that sprinkles are multicolored and jimmies specifically refer to the chocolate variety. But no matter what you call them or how you use them, they seem to make everything taste a little better. Here in Lancaster County, we call them sprinkles, but we’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the great sprinkles vs. jimmies debate!

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204 Responses to “WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPRINKLES AND JIMMIES?”

  1. Barbara says:

    50 miles from NYC on the Jersey shore – we call them sprinkles! Even our favorite ice cream hang-out has “sprinkles” written on their menu board. Either way they are yummy!

  2. Judy says:

    Sorry folks, I don’t care for either one. My husband loves them though.

  3. Don says:

    I have only known them by “sprinkles”, but by either name – they’re wonderful!

  4. Jennie C. says:

    I’m a sprinkles girl. My husband brought us sprinkles back from the Netherlands that they use for toast in the morning. I think I prefer them on ice cream!

  5. Rebecca S. says:

    That Explains It! I’m a native Central NY’er and when we moved to Ohio for a bit, We kept asking for sprinkles and finally they kept saying, “you mean jimmies?” They charged like 50cents extra for em too….and only seemed to have rainbow…I’m a chocolate sprinkle fan!Haha

    Thanks for the History lesson!

  6. Angelika says:

    I’ve only known them as sprinkles until i saw my little sister watching a cartoon and the cartoon used the word jimmies. I thought that those people were weird and that it probably was a made up word. I’m glad to learn that the words sprinkles and jimmies all ammounts to what region you live in. Next time I stop by the New England region, I’ll show off by using the word jimmies in front of all the other tourists, lol.

  7. Ann says:

    I’m from NY and we have always called them sprinkles. We knew “jimmies” as the little silver beads that were put
    on cakes or ice cream. All are yummy!!

  8. MJ Barbour says:

    I have to have sprinkles on my ice cream… LOVE them. Born and raised on Long Island NY, lived for a while in PA and now CT, I get a lot of strange looks when I ask for heroes (subs, grinders or hoagies, depending on where you live), and of course sprinkles… oh well… You can take the girl out of NY, but you can’t take the NY out of the girl!

  9. Krystin says:

    Central Jersey here…and those things you put on icecream are called sprinkles. “Jimmies” is something definatly not put on icecream. It’s something used under the boardwalk.
    :O)

  10. Mary O says:

    Just last night, my husband was making a sundae with fixin’s left over from our son’s graduation party. I asked him if he wanted “jimmy dips” (the word our ice cream truck driver used for long chocolate sprinkles in the fifties and early sixties in Levittown, New York), but he had no idea what I was talking about. He grew up in another part of Long Island.

  11. Anne King says:

    We’re from NJ and they’re called Sprinkles. Our grandchildren always wanted them!

  12. Cheryl Wooten says:

    Here in NE Ohio, we call them sprinkles. I’ve never even heard of Jimmies.

  13. David Howe says:

    Turkey Hill, pretzels, and now Jimmies? Does all the best food come from Pennsylvania?

  14. Sherrie Robertson says:

    Im from NJ and ive always known them as sprinkle even though Ive heard people call them jimmies. I perfer rainbow to the chocolate, maybe cause im not too much of a chocolate person(unless of course its the chocolate pb cup from turkey hil..Thats my FAVE)

  15. Lori says:

    I’m from good old York County PA & I’ve always known them as Sprinkles! Also glad to see from the latest poll that 55% of people eat ice cream right out of the box with no shame! Throw some nuts and/or sprinkles in & you have a real treat!

  16. Laura Goeltzenleuchter says:

    I do not understand the whole sprinkle thing. Personally I do not like them and thought that only kids enjoy them. Guess I was wrong there. I grew up in Northern NJ and they were sprinkles but I think the chocolate ones were jimmies.

  17. Greg C. says:

    Jimmies, eh? Never heard of that (native Ohioan, long time western NY-er.) I just call ‘em sprinkles. Our local ice cream place has a mix of sprinkles and other goodies that they call “twinkle coat”… pretty good!

  18. Ruth, PA says:

    We call the little round multi-colored balls “sprinkles” and the items in the picture for today “jimmies”. The little silver balls on wedding cakes we call dragees. Personally, I like jimmies. (And yes, I admit that sometimes I grab a spoonful or two from the box of icecream!)

  19. Jim McFarland says:

    My mother used “Jimmies” on lots of things when I was small, I thought she nemaed them after me.

  20. Linda Martin says:

    where do you make your commeicals for Turkey Hill ice cream? are they done in the lovely rolling hills of Lancaster? Also I can’t wait to taste the new Rootbeer Float and Chocolate Coconut. Another question on ice cream toppings there is chocolate topping and fudge topping how do you get the fudge topping so much thicker and so it stays that way?

  21. Turkey Hill Team says:

    As always, welcome to all of our new readers. We hope you decide to become regular readers (and contributors) in our Ice Cream Journal community.

    LINDA – We tape our commercials at various places, but we have used the beautiful farms and scenery of Lancaster County in some of our commercials, most recently for our Duetto commercials.

    In other news, we’re happy to see that over 70 percent of you admit to eating ice cream right out of the container. No shame in that! When you gotta have some, you gotta have some!

  22. Linda Martin says:

    I’m 20 minutes from Pittsburgh and around here we call them sprinkles, and we also like our ice cream cones dipped in hot chocolate sauce. YUM!

  23. Kelly says:

    My son loves the colored ones…@ our house we call them sprinkles.But I like my ice cream without.

  24. Thomas says:

    Sprinkles in Akron, OH, but never use them

  25. Cheryl S. says:

    “Sprinkles” are multi-colored & “Jimmies” are chocolate!

  26. Hannah F says:

    I’m from western PA and we call them sprinkles.
    I just returned from grocery shopping and I hit the jackpot….TH was on sale and they had Fried Ice Cream,Pineapple UPside Down Cake and the new Junior Mint.The stores in my area very seldom have the Limited edition flavors but this time the had 3. I barely got into the house with the groceries and I grabbed a spoon and tasted the Pineapple(I’ve been waiting “forever” to taste this flavor…it is awesome. I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow…back to the store for more Pineapple.

  27. Hannah F says:

    Dear TH
    Just wondering when the Food network is going to air the show that includes the segment on the TH factory. Also what is the mame of the program?

  28. Ann Marie says:

    Love you peanut butter ripple. It is just loaded with peanut butter.It’s the best peanut butter ice cream anywhere

  29. Dot says:

    Your ice cream doesn’t need anything extra on it!!!! Best I’ve had in a long time.

  30. Betty Seidel says:

    I’m all set for the fourth of July
    Today 2 Mango Duettos did I buy!

  31. Robbin L. Netz says:

    As long as there atop any flavor of Turkey hill, it just doesn’t matter. Call them whatever you want!

  32. David Howe says:

    that jimmy-covered cone calls to me…

  33. Rebecca J says:

    Do jimmies come in red, white and blue?

  34. gianna says:

    Call me a purist, but i like my TH just as it comes scooped out of the box(by the way I like my TH in a bowl, but my father eats it right out of the box!) With that said, I don’t think TH needs any kind of improvement (sprinkles or jimmies)…how can one improve on perfection?!

  35. Rose says:

    I’ve always loved sprinkles. I come from a big family so plain old Vanilla or Neopolitan icecream was better with sprinkles! Turkey Hill icecream is the best (even the vanilla bean).

  36. Joan says:

    When I was a kid we ran after the Mr. Softie truck to get that cone of soft ice cream dipped in sprinkles. Now that I am an “old” nana, I prefer my Turkey Hill just plain whether it is in a cone, a bowl or right out of the box.

  37. Tricia says:

    I’m from the Philly area and have always just called the chocolate variety “Jimmies” and the colored “sprinkles”. But I’ll call them anything I need to in order to have them on my icecream :)

  38. L. Reno says:

    Jimmies or sprinkles, it is like adding a smile to a turkey hill ice cream cone.

  39. Sharon says:

    We use both words, but personally, I like sprinkles on cookies, and I never put them on my Turkey Hill ice cream. Let the true flavor shine through!

  40. Joe says:

    Jimmies or Sprinkles they are the same. I love them on ice cream and a cone.

  41. Michele P. says:

    yup, we call them jimmies here in Maine, though my 6 yr old has been calling them sprinkles-

  42. Joyce Vasquez says:

    Jimmies or sprinkles, they are both great. Which is why the first time I tried and Turkey Hill product, it was Turkey Hill Party Cake. I could not get
    enough of it. I would buy 2-3 gal. of it
    at a time to make sure I’d always have it. My market didn’t have it one day and
    I contacted Turkey Hill! I was told to
    tell my market to get it again, which I did. It took a while, but they did get it back on the freezer shelf. It’s still
    my favorite to this day.

  43. D Bruner says:

    Being from Pa. – I hear them called both, sprinkles were the colored ones and jimmies were chocolate. Now living in N.C., Can’t really tell what they call them. Guess I will have to take a poll here. No matter- TH the BEST ice cream around!

  44. Carol says:

    I’m from Philly, and I still remember the hand scooped ice cream cones being dipped upside down in chocolate jimmies. We never called them “sprinkles” then.

  45. Kathy Picard says:

    I like the sprinkles better. But you have to eat the cone really fast before it melts.

  46. dan m says:

    jimmies, sprinkles you name it, when i was little i specificly remember asking for ‘ants’ when getting my 5 cent cone
    of vannila.the thing was, they only had
    chocolate sprinkles in bayonne nj back in the late 30′s

  47. Sherry alias moosetracks says:

    Happy 4th of July – I purchased my celebration food: Turkey Hill Ice Cream.

  48. jane says:

    hi love them they might make alittle mess but its worth it.

  49. alicelynne says:

    Sprinkles are rainbow colored and jimmies are chocolate…from a Lancaster Co native!!

  50. Frank says:

    Turkey Hill ice cream is so good that it does not need sprinkles, jimmies, or anything else on it. It is perfect just
    by itself.

  51. Margaret M says:

    Here in western NY we always called them sprinkles. Either chocolate sprinkles or rainbow sprinkles. I prefer my TH just the way it is but my grandchildren think it’s really special with sprinkles and I remember feeling the same way when I was a kid!

  52. Bob Kessler Jr says:

    When I was a child I used to help my mother put sprinkles on cupcakes and cookies after we put icing on them. I guess over time sprinkles were being put on ice cream. But I agree with the majority and enjoy Turkey Hill ice cream right out of the container with no embellishments.

  53. Marie Barrett says:

    I’m a natiave LIer and a come here Virginian. The delicious candies have always been sprinkles to me, and are the company dressup when the grandchildren come over. I am also gluten intolerant! Thank God for icecream. I never feel deprived of a fancy dessert when I can dig into my Turkey Hill- with or without sprinkles.

  54. Debbie F says:

    Happy July 4th to all you TH ice cream lovers.
    To keep in the red white and blue theme,I’ll be having Vanilla Bean topped with strawberries and blueberries. Hey guys at TH what about a limited edition red white and blue flavor. It would work for any of the patriotic holidays. Maybe a neopolitan style with strawberry,vanilla and blueberry. Or if anyone here has some ideas.

  55. Paula says:

    The chocolate should be called jimmies and the collored round balls called sprinkles. That gives them a distinction so that you know the difference between the two. I am from Massachusetts.

  56. Sue says:

    I work in a chocolate factory and we hand make our candies. We use “sprinkles” on alot of our candies and depending on what company they come from,, they are called “Jimmies” or “Sprinkles”,,,,and in reply to Rebecca,, they come in every color imaginable! Personally, I don’t use them on ice cream,,,who needs them? With all the different TH flavors, there’s no need for extra embellisments!

  57. Lorraine says:

    Here on Long Island we call them “sprinkles.” They are sold in a multitude of colors. Rainbow are my favorite. Happy 4th of July everyone!

  58. Elaine Case says:

    I don’t use sprinkles. We prefer fresh fruit like strawberries or raspberries in season if we use any topping at all. Really, with Turkey Hill Ice Cream there is no need for anything extra.

  59. Linda Ice Cream says:

    We always call them sprinkles, either chocolate or rainbow. I don’t use them myself because TH is too good without them but the grandkids think they are great.

  60. lori and john says:

    oh theres most def a diff…sprinkles are round crunchy and, well sprinkly; jimmies are short little logs that taste odd and never look quite as pretty on a cone of vanilla as sprinkles.

  61. Donna McMinn says:

    The only time I eat out of the box is if there is just what I consider one serving – which is probably at the most a fourth ot the Turkey Hill container.

  62. Tom Lederer says:

    I scream ” God bless America” and God bless us,all ! everyone !

  63. Brenda says:

    Jimmies here in Mass but don’t muck up the flavor of my ice cream with them!!!

  64. Dani says:

    Oh yeah, baby! There’s no shame in straight-from-the-box!

    From Philadelphia, in Love Park: Everyone have a wonderful and blessed Happy 4th of July! Let Freedom Ring!

  65. Kathy says:

    Oh man, the ice cream in that photo looks soooooo good. There’s nothing more perfect on a hot summer day than ice cream with sprinkles!

  66. Tianna says:

    So Happy 4th of July I work here at a golf course out in Eastern End of Long Island I took a survey 40 Golfers 12 staff, all but 4 say sprinkles. But the ones 60 years and over only knew chocolate. “Must have been a new invention in the last 30 years or so!” Perspective is everything!
    Now as for eating out the carton, Just a few days ago temp was 95 humidity of pea soup I bought TH Philly style choc. By the time I got home, It was soft and looked so yummy, I grabbed a big ol spoonful and went straight to ice cream orgasmic heaven! You know ladies that choc hits those taste buds and you want to lick the spoon and go get into a big ol bubble bath and chill. Uhhhhhh. Have a great 4th.

  67. Mary says:

    In our part of PA they mix sprinkles with some sort of small, crunchy chunks before they put them on the cone. They are always my choice when I see them on the ice cream menu.

  68. Diane McMahon says:

    I could care less what they call them as they add variety to the taste, consistency and visual affect of the ice cream that they get attached to. It is a great pairing of candy and ice cream.

  69. tricia everetts says:

    I have lived in the midwest and the south…and always been sprinkles. I guess I am a purist though….I love my ice cream plain and as is….Hey Turkey Hill, when are you bringing back German Chocolate Ice Cream…that was addicting….

  70. Carol says:

    I usually eat some right from the box as soon as I bring it home from the grocery store- its usually a little soft on top and oh sooo good!

  71. Debbie L says:

    Sprinkles and Jimmies are one in the same. I have always referred to them as “sprinkles”. Love the rainbow sprinkles…so festive and confetti-like.

  72. Paula says:

    being a Lanc. Co. native we call the choc. jimmies and the colored sprinkles, personally, the only thing I need with my Turkey Hill ice cream is a spoon! Happy and safe 4th everyone!

  73. Pat says:

    Happy 4th of July!!! God Bless America!!!
    Here in NY we call them sprinkles. Yes, I proudly eat ice cream out of the container. Also out of a bowl, cup, cone, anyway I can eat it LOL LOL!!!!

  74. Jim says:

    I’m from Ohio and never heard the term Jimmies until I moved out to southeastern PA. We used to call everything sprinkles, including crushed chocolate Oreo cookies. Jimmies were known as rainbow sprinkles where I grew up.

  75. Mary Anne says:

    Growing up in Lancaster Co., I remember calling the chocolate ones jimmies. Now that I live in western PA, most people here only talk about sprinkles. It doesn’t matter – any kind with ice cream is great for a special treat!

  76. Betty Seidel says:

    They’ve always been called Jimmies, forever and a day
    Like little chocolate ants – and I like it that way!

  77. Andi F says:

    Happy Birthday America! The ice cream with sprinkles looks great! We say both sprinkles and jimmies although jimmies is more for the chocolate ones. Our 3 year old loves ‘pinkles on his ice cream.

  78. Karen Cohn says:

    I’m from Indiana and we call them Sprinkles. I love to use them whenever I have ice cream or just sprinkle some in my coffee for flavor.

  79. Heidi says:

    I’ve never had sprinkles or jimmies on ice cream. The best way to enjoy TH is straight out of the box with no added pollutants.

  80. Kelly says:

    The only correct answer: there is no difference! Both are colorful, and both add to the flavor of Turkey Hill ice cream.

  81. Mike says:

    We’ve always called them jimmies. They don’t add anything to the sensory experience of ice cream, but the colors are fun.

  82. Jennifer says:

    Ha! This “jimmies” or sprinkles debate was my first intro to regional slang. I’m from the NYC area, my summer camp friend was from the Philly area, and she asked for “jimmies” on her ice cream- I had no idea what she was talking about! I first heard this around 12 yrs old or so.

  83. Norma says:

    Jimmies, Jimmies, Jimmies says this gal from Buffalo. I always like my Turkey Hill straight up, however.

  84. Lilly says:

    I like Sprinkles, but the ice cream is best with nothing on it. Happy 4th of July..

  85. Susan says:

    Jimmies!!!

  86. Debbie S. says:

    Happy 4th!!! Sprinkles, Jimmies it’s all good as well as in a bowl in a cone on a stick and yup,right out of the box. I just love it!!!

  87. jen says:

    Jimmies for me – though have been known to call them sprinkles. Didnt’ know there was a “regional” naming for them – kind of like soda vs. pop. Very interesting!!

  88. Edie says:

    No matter what you call them they taste the same, but I prefer eating my ice cream unadored.

  89. peg says:

    Our family calls them sprinkles. I was born in PA and always called them sprinkles. I moved further east and still go by sprinkles.

  90. stacie says:

    I am from Trenton, NJ and there has always been a distinct difference between jimmies and sprinkles. Jimmies are the brown ones, and just brown ones. Sprinkles are the multi-colored version of the jimmy. So jimmies are brown and sprinkles are rainbowed colored, THERE!

  91. Beth says:

    It was not until I moved from Rhode Island to Florida that I even found out they had a name other than jimmies!

  92. Meghan says:

    Sprinkles are an excellent topper to pretty much any ice cream, but I wonder, does Turkey hill make any ice cream flavors that come with sprinkles in the candy? This would certainly save time and hassle of having to get them out every time. Also, they should make sure-free sprinkles too for those diabetics and calorie conscious ice cream lovers that want to enjoy the fun of sprinkles but can’t spare all the extra sugar.

  93. Marc says:

    The true answer is “YOU SPRINKLE ON THE JIMMIES”. There you have it.

  94. Linda says:

    They were always called Jimmies when I grew up. My kids make fun of me when I ask for Jimmies.

  95. barry says:

    jimmies. but growing up there were only chocolate. now there are multicolored. still jimmies tho.

  96. Patricia says:

    growing up we called them jimmies and my sister was so upset that we had to call the colored ones janices after her, now another sister’s kids have named the nuts after her!!!

  97. sharon says:

    Sorry, but they’ll always be sprinkles, not jimmies (just like it will always be soda, not pop and wafer cone, not cake cone. But I’m glad I understand the translation).

  98. Carol Triano says:

    I live in western PA and we always called them sprinkles……but, whatever you call them they are good on Turkey Hill Ice Cream.

  99. Carolyn Brzezicki says:

    Now tell us more about the toppings that freeze to the ice cream – how does that work?

  100. Jeanie says:

    “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” ~ William Shakespeare

    I grew up in Ohio and they were always called sprinkles. It wasn’t until I moved to Oklahoma that I heard people call them Jimmies. Personally, I prefer the name Sprinkles because it sounds more fun but either way, they’re great! I love to cover every inch of my ice cream with sprinkles and when I’ve eaten them all up, I put on some more until all the ice-cream is gone! YUM!! =oD

  101. Artemis says:

    I love the sprinkles& chocolate or multi colored if you want to put jimmies on my ice cream I would love that to!!!!

  102. Karen Justin Rachel says:

    I don’t care what you call them as long as I can still have the all chocolate on my soft vanilla.

  103. Karen Justin Rachel says:

    The multi-color were my favorite as a kid and although I don’t like the taste as much as I used to I love how it looks.

  104. tish says:

    being from Philly they are jimmies! only liked them as a kid! Prefer my ice cream plain!

  105. John from PA says:

    No matter what you call them, keep them as far away from my ice cream as possible. Yuch!

  106. al zimba jr. says:

    jimmies are chocolate & sprinkles
    are multi-colored in phila. pa.&
    that`s all that matters…period

    al zimba

  107. lee carr says:

    I thought they were jimmies because they were named for their creator, Jimmy smith.

  108. Rosealee says:

    I grew up in Calif. and to me they are called sprinkles (I do not care for them) how ever my daughter loves them.
    Never heard of them as jimmies until about 2 weeks ago.

  109. Liz Conforti says:

    Growing up in East McKeesport, Pa outside of Pittsburgh- we called them jimmies, whether they were chocolate or multi-colored….we just had to specify which would go on our special cone usually bought at the local Isaly’s store….

  110. Victoria says:

    That is really interesting and funny. I’ve never heard of sprinkles being called jimmies. I can’t imagine someone asking for jimmies on an ice cream. I would have to laugh. It is similar to a recent visit to Canada where they call their dollar bills looney’s and tooney’s. Someone asked me for a looney or tooney. I had to wonder if they were looney tooney.

  111. Barbara Harbeson says:

    I lived in southern New Jersey ( over the Ben Franklin Bridge) and I don’t know why but Sprinkles where the colors and Jimmies the chocolate. The mind works in mysterious ways when it comes to treats in life.

  112. Kathy P says:

    Where I live in upstate NY, we call them sprinkles. If they were called Jimmies, my kids would like them just the same. They love sprinkles on their icecream just as I did when I was a kid. Now, I only like sprinklemejimmies (why not combine the names) once in a while as a treat!

  113. John says:

    I don’t really care about that.I just care about the taste.

  114. Esther says:

    I usually call them sprinkles, but I have heard them called jimmies, too. All that really matters to me is that I get them!

  115. Heather of Perkiomenville says:

    I was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Like many of my “neighbors” said before me – Sprinkles are the rainbow colored variety and Jimmies are ONLY brown.
    P.S. In our house, someone usually eats the last serving of ice cream right out of the container with a spoon.

  116. brena H says:

    I grew up in MA where you asked for jimmies on your cones. When i moved to PA i got a very strange look from the ice cream vendor when i asked for jimmies. Same thing happened when i asked for a grinder at the hoagie place. tomAto tomaaato…

  117. Barbie says:

    It is a philly thing and they are jimmies! Really love them on my turkey hill ice cream

  118. Sophia Ofidis says:

    My parents owned a luncheonette in South Philadelphia that served ice cream and Jimmies were chocolate,Sprinkles were rainbow colored. Now where’s my Turkey Hill ice cream with Jimmies?

  119. Paul says:

    Now I know why they are called “jimmies”.

  120. beccah says:

    I love Turkey Hill Ice Cream plain, but my kids sure LOVE the Jimmies!

  121. Mary Shoemaker says:

    This is the first time I’ve ever heard them called jimmies.

  122. Joanne from NJ says:

    Haven’t had em in years!!!

    Makes me want to go out and get a cone with chocolate sprinkles.

  123. Linda Vollmerhausen says:

    I grew up in Brooklyn and Queens, NY and we always called them sprinkles. I like the chocolate ones, (though not as much as when I was a kid), but the colored ones are really pretty!

    As far as eating out of the container, you caught me! Only when there is very little ice cream left though!

  124. Jeanie says:

    Just give me some TH ice cream and tons of sprinkles/jimmies (since they are good no matter what you call them) and I’ll be a happy camper!!

  125. meme says:

    Sprinkles – that’s the correct name & chocolate is the best!!! & the more of them the better

  126. Norma says:

    Jimmies, Jimmies, Jimmies. I had never heard of sprinkles until I moved here.

  127. mary ann herrmann says:

    …jimmies, please & thank you!!
    back when i was a kid, they were actually “free”, if one can believe that. my how times have changed.

  128. Lorraine says:

    Looks good must taste good////Ha/Making me hungry/////

  129. lee carr says:

    see this photo. these are jimmies. whether multi colored or brown, the shape is jimmies. the photo in the September 28th, 2009 story are sprinkles.

  130. BETTY says:

    making one now

  131. kenneth noisewater says:

    i have always called the “large cylinder” shaped ones, sprinkles… while the small ones in all sorts of fun shapes were, jimmies…. thats how it always has been and thats how it will always be

  132. Jordan Wheeler says:

    I was born and am being raised (I’m only 13 :P ) on Cape Cod. Here, some people call them jimmies and some sprinkles. I think they’re jimmies. It’s just where I’m from I guess (:

    As for the eating out of the container… Heh.. You caught me!

  133. David says:

    Just outside of Boston their was a place that had wicked good icecream called Brighams like friendleys but just in Mass. Jimmys is what we called them.

  134. Peggy says:

    It’s NOT just a Philly thing.

    I grew up on Cape Cod and it was Jimmies. However, now I am in Connecticut and they call them sprinkles. You can’t go by CT. though…they mispronounce almost everything here.

    The BIG question should be how to pronounce CARAMEL…obviously the correct way is CAR MUL

  135. Ashley says:

    I have always been on the edge of Chester County/Lancaster County, always fight with friends about this, and it will always be JIMMIES to me!!!!

  136. lew says:

    I can end this debate right now. Sprinkles are the rod shaped, powdery toppings. Jimmies are the little balls that crunch when you bite them. Color has nothing to do with it. Its the geographic and texture composition. Any who would like to disagree and debate this can email catella204@aol.com.

  137. Alvarez says:

    My boyfriend and I always debate about t his, thus me ending up here. I’ve never used the term jimmies, I’ve always said sprinkles because im from california. Him being from boston he’s always use the term jimmies. Either way we’ve decided that they’re both the same thing and now we can move on lol! ( Even though he still claims that he’s right :p)

  138. hm says:

    Baltimore. Jimmies here always get strange look I’m fl have to say junkies you know sprinkles only way to get ice cream on a cone. Flt get the rainbow

  139. g says:

    I own an Ice cream shop just outside Boston..
    in simple terms..
    Sprinkles are assorted colors (rainbow)
    Jimmies are Chocolate.
    though “jimmies is a New england term” this is the difference.

  140. McKenzie says:

    Born and raised in the state of Maine, I grew up calling em jimmies. If we go to anywhere out of New England and ask for jimmies no one knows what we’re talking about!

  141. Matt says:

    My wife and I just got into a debate about this. I call colored ones Sprinkles and brown ones Jimmies. I’m glad your explaination proved that my way of thinking is shared by others. BTW, I grew up in Lancaster County, my wife at the Jersey Shore where we now live. I still think I’m right!

  142. Tommy says:

    From philly. I always as for jimmies w my ice cream cone, of course no kne knows what a freakin water ice is even. iyyyy

  143. Carolyn says:

    I grew up in MA and jimmies are chocolate and any other color is referred to as sprinkles. Always have been, always will be!!!! The best jimmies ever were at Brigham’s – they were really tiny and made from real chocolate, not the waxy stuff they use now!

  144. Kory says:

    In Middlesex County (New Jersey) We call them ‘Sprills’

  145. Melissa says:

    I am in GA, but originally from PA. I called the chocolate sprinkles Jimmies and my boyfriend asked me why. I googled the topic and just laughed because it is so true! The multi colored are just sprinkles and the chocolate ones are Jimmies. Lol I always thought it was just a Puttsburgh thing.

  146. MIke says:

    I am from South Jersey and we know them as sprinkles or jimmies but I was wondering do you like the soft sprinkles or the crunchy sprinkles? I like the crunchy sprinkles.

  147. Tracy says:

    I’m from Metro Detroit and we call them jimmies.

  148. M kavanaugh says:

    I’ve heard them called both in California. Older people call them jimmies more than young people. In ireland they called them vermicelli!

  149. p wilkes says:

    central New England here…and its Jimmies all the way! Sprinkles are the little hard dots you put on sugar cookies before you bake them! Yummy!

  150. victoria says:

    i personally call them Jimmy’s. I’m from Texas, so the majority of the people here have no idea what jimmy’s are. its just different every where you go. i used to call them sprinkles, but after spending some time in Boston, calling them jimmy’s just made more sense to me.

  151. Jill says:

    From a MA smalltown, the local Ice Cream Shoppe has a sign that says “jimmies”. :)

  152. Eileen says:

    I’m from Boston they are definetly Jimmies! my boyfriend is from Miami, we have an on going argument as he insists they are sprinkles :)

  153. bill says:

    I have been calling them Jimmies my whole life. I grew up in Philly and even in the city many call them Sprinkles but a majority use Jimmies. As a child I never heard them referred to as sprinkles only after I moved to the suburbs I began to head them being called sprinkles.

  154. amarah says:

    i love jimies omn my chocolate ice cream

  155. amarah says:

    i love jimies on my chocolate icecream!!!:)

  156. amarah says:

    i love jimies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):):):):):):):):):):):)i love it!!!:):):):)!!!!!!!@@@@###$$$%%^^^&&&***((()))___+++

  157. Candace says:

    I’m from sadsburyville, Pa and all my life I
    Have called them jimmies I went to dq and
    Asked for jimmies and they stared at me
    Clueless do not get it I think jimmies
    Has a zing to it
    Jimmies rule

  158. norcal says:

    In Northern California, chocolate is (are) called Jimmies and multicolored are called sprinkles

  159. britt says:

    I live in the suburbs outside of pittsburgh and I call them sprinkles, but some of my family says jimmies. In kennywood they are labeled as jimmies. Rainbow or chocolate they are sprinkles to me.

  160. Christine says:

    Nice try turkey hill… jimmies are from BOSTON!
    They are JIMMIES! Not sprinkles. They were named after the son of the man who came up with them.

  161. heathervt says:

    jimmys are rainbow or chocolate and sprinks are colored sugar

  162. Bill says:

    I’m from Burlington City, NJ and I have always known them as jimmies. That is what my grandpa always referred to them as. Also, the two ice cream shops we normally went to, Ummm’s, which was the best ice cream and Dairy Queen, we asked for either chocolate or rainbow jimmies. But know I live in NC and I believe if I asked for chocolate jimmies on my ice cream I would probably get a funny look!

  163. Sarah Robinson says:

    Don’t let these North Jersey people fool you. In South Jersey, they’re called jimmies. No self-respecting ice cream shop in South Jersey or any “southern” shore area would call them sprinkles. Sprinkles are confetti… the little dots or crystallized sugar you’d sprinkle in a cake. Jimmies are the rod-like structures used for ice cream. The color matters not. Get it right!

  164. hey if you have a mobile ice cream truck contact cj 7177798137 its for up coming event in september ty

  165. Leslie Skibo says:

    Ocean City, NJ says: chocolate = jimmies; rainbow = sprinkles

  166. MReagan says:

    The debate continues! I’m here in Trenton, NJ where I think they call them sprinkles. I’m a native Philadelphian where everybody knows that Jimmies are chocolate and the best! Sprinkles are some new fangled thing just for kids!!!

  167. Bonnie says:

    I referred to them as “sprills” and my co-worker didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. I started drawing a picture of
    sprills, and she said, “Oh, you mean sprinkles!” Then we started investigating the use of the word. I grew up in Union County, NJ and we always called them sprills.

  168. Patti kearns says:

    Jimmies of course whether they are chocolate or rainbow! Im from philly

  169. [...] make-your-own ice cream sundae bar and have a multitude of toppings including sprinkles (or “jimmies,” as we say in Philadelphia), chocolate chips, M&Ms, chocolate sauce and whipped [...]

  170. [...] filled with strawberry preserves, topped with vanilla butter cream, hot fudge, rainbow jimmies (sprinkles if you’re not from around here), with a cherry on [...]

  171. Marc says:

    I (from Iowa) would call what are pictured sprills, as well. Sprills refered specifically to the rod-shaped sugary toppings for cupcakes, donuts, or ice cream. I was surprised not to be able to find the word in a dictionary, which brought me here.

    If you buy anything called sprills, which you can, (), that is what you get. Here is a vintage tin for sprills, clearly labeled and showing them in the cover art. ()

    If they were spherical or other shaped I might have called them sprinkles, which I just assumed was a generic term for any decoration you could sprinkle, including sprills. You can get snowflakes, hearts, leaves, glittery dust, round balls, or many other shapes.

    The round ones which always top nonpareils are also called nonpareils by themselves, evidently, and I believe the British term “hundreds and thousands” also refers to the round ones regardless of color.

    I have never been quite sure what jimmies were. I have heard the term, and figured it meant some specific kind of sprinkle, but never knew which kind.

  172. Marc says:

    Hmm, those URLs disappeared. The first is, (after the standard hypertext transfer protocal abbreviation and the slashes and the world wide web abbreviation and a period) “ccwsupply.com/catalog/-c-48_122.html?osCsid=9td0e83d55b04jdlohb8g6nvv6″ and the second is “bonanza.com/items/like/80470175/Vintage-Schrafft-s-Chocolate-Sprills-Tin-With-Removable-Lid-”

  173. Debbie says:

    I have quite a collection in my cabinet. I just looked at them and
    they’re ALL called sprinkles on the label, even the chocolate ones!
    Of course I eat ice cream right out of the container! I thought everybody did ;)

  174. Elisa says:

    They are jimmies. The end.

  175. Jimmy says:

    I work at a ice crem Stan & you should hear things call them ! Can I get some Sprinkles,Spots,Jimmies,Sparkles has to be my favorite along with colored sugar slices !

  176. rachelle says:

    This is incorrect I have worked at culvers for 5 years sprinkles are the candy ones and jimmies are chocolate

  177. Alex says:

    whatever you call them i don’t think they’re chocolate as someone else posted on Slashfood. I thought it was just cornstach and sugar and food coloring….

  178. Rob says:

    I live born and raised in southern NJ (5min from philly) we always called them Jimmies never heard of Sprinkles (sounds weird to me still) until I moved to california and lived there for 3 years. lol

  179. Anne says:

    Born and raised mostly in Essex County NJ. We always called them Jimmies.My parents were born and raised near Bethlehem Pa…maybe that’s the connection
    .

  180. Gary says:

    JIMMIES ! Great article.

  181. Heather says:

    I am from Buffalo, NY and always called them Jimmies. As I grew up and moved to Central NY and then the Hudson Valley, I was always “made fun of” for the statement. I have noticed that when you order sprinkles/ jimmies in Western New York, they are soft and chewy. here in the Eastern end of NY they are crunchy. I’m all for the soft chewy version, whatever they are called.

  182. Christa says:

    I am from southern New Hampshire and I think that bit about New England is wrong. I call them sprinkles. they are sprinkles. I hardly ever hear anyone call them “jimmies”. in short, I DO NOT ACCEPT THAT AS A NEW ENGLAND THING.

  183. LouAnn says:

    Jimmies, Jimmies, Jimmies

  184. Megan says:

    Jimmies are the tiny cylindrical ones. They come in rainbow and chocolate. Sprinkles are the tiny ball ones that you mostly find on cupcakes and cakes.

  185. Barbara Brenner says:

    Oh my goodness! I was just wondering how sprinkles came to be called jimmies… I really was!

    I’d tried this ‘birthday cake’ ice cream (not by Turkey Hill, but another top brand) that’s loaded with jimmies and bits of what was supposed to be cake. It was dreadful. okay enough to polish off to get rid of, but I’ll never waste time on it again!

    With Turkey Hill being one of my very favorite brands, I’m VERY pleased to know you are located in my home state!! :-)

  186. Zach says:

    I was born in Boston and have lived there for my entire life. The rainbow colored ones are “sprinkles” and the chocolate ones are “jimmies”. Outside of Boston in other parts of New England they know what jimmies are but they will ask chocolate or rainbow.

  187. Sharon Schlegel says:

    Growing up in Philly they were always known as “jimmies.” Now I live in Bucks County PA and always ask for Jimmies but sometimes dolks say “do you mean sprinkles?” I hate to see the tradition die. And I LOVE turkey hill light: tasty but not too high fat. Hoorah!

  188. Wendy says:

    Born and raised in Rhode Island. Always called them Jimmy’s. Colored or chocolate. Need a drink of water? Go find a bubblah!!

  189. Travis B says:

    From Texas, live in Maryland. Those in the picture were always Jimmies (either chocolate or rainbow). Sprinkles were the little balls, hearts or stars of hard colored sugar.

  190. Karen Hamilton says:

    I grew up in PHILLY called the “Jimmies”,,,,,,,

  191. jeanette says:

    Born & raised in Philadelphia. .. I call the Jimmies! My husband is from North Jersey and had no idea what I was talking about the 1st time we had ice cream together. Lol

  192. Meaghan says:

    I was under the impression that jimmies were the cylindrical ones and sprinkles were the round ones

  193. Carol says:

    I’m from CT and we called them sprinkles. I married and moved to the Boston area, and they call them Jimmies up here. And I always think of Jimmies as just chocolate ones… actually I don’t see the multi-colored ones much at ice cream stands. My friend in Missouri had absolutely no idea what I was talking about when I asked her if they called them sprinkles or jimmies – they are huge ice cream fans, and have hit many stands in the midwest, and have never once seen sprinkles or jimmies on the menu, or in anyone’s hand, on top of a cone. Isn’t that odd? Do they even have them west of the Mississippi? Well, my friend has seen them on top of cookies and cakes, just not ice cream.

  194. autom says:

    Live in South Jersey, and saw jimmies, I thought what the heck lol..yep from central, Pa, we say sprinkles, now we laugh and say jimmies

  195. autom says:

    P.s colors do not matter, sign say jimmies, that is all :)

  196. Susan says:

    Sprinkles could be any type of candy sprinkle! A jimmy is a jimmy!

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  198. sharon says:

    in Scituate Mass there is an ice cream store and they call them “Billies” !

  199. Mary Rice says:

    I’m from Buffalo, NY, and growing up we always called the chocolate sprinkles jimmies… even my father who is 94 years old. A very popular summer vacation spot, 10 minutes over the Peace Bridge from Buffalo, is Crystal Beach, Ontario, Canada. It was/is called jimmies there, too! Recent years, though, people in Buffalo say chocolate sprinkles. Only the old timers, like me, still say jimmies.

  200. Mary Rice says:

    I think most people responding to this social media form are younger and only know them as sprinkles. I bet the older crowd, who probably wouldn’t be inclined to respond here, would be familiar with the use of jimmies! Ask someone old that you know, maybe from the northeast US, and they might have called them jimmies back in the day!

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