Sweets, sweeties, bonbons, candy, chocolates, confectionery, chews or jellies. What do you call your favourite sugary treat? If it was Gran from our childhood, the mere mention of “confectionery” would have us in giggles. “Pass the confectionery, dear.” The what? “The confectionery!” What she really meant was for us to pass her jar of old-fashioned boilings that sat on the coffee table with the lacy cloth, next to the bookcase.
What’s in a word, confectionery?
These days, confectionery seems to take itself too serious, although you never know when the word might come back in all its retro sweets glory. As in, “Hey, dude, what’s going down with the confectionery like?” Or perhaps it’ll become affectionately known as simple “fectionery”! Or cfy, in text speak!
Sweets, meanwhile, also has a “quite proper” ring to it. In a “the sweets are for after supper,” kind of way. But add just a couple of letters and the word sweets becomes sweeties, which has an altogether more light-hearted sentiment. Sweeties seems childish, fun, light-hearted and jolly.
The pick and mix of confectionery
The words for confectionery and sweets becomes more of a pick and mix puzzle thanks to imports from overseas. In France the word confectionery translates to “confiserie”, which is also “patisserie”, while bonbons is their words for sweets and has also become our word for such delicious delights as strawberry or lemon or toffee bonbons. Ooh, the lovely sweet dusting of icing sugar covering a crisp casing surrounding the fantasically chewy centre of the bonbon… (Hey, get back on topic. Editor).
In the USA, a sweet store is a candy store and confectionery equals candies. Candy is occasionally used as a generic term in the UK, and also refers to Compressed Candy Delights such as Love Hearts and Palma Violets.
And then there’s the Danes, for whom sweets are slik and confectionery is confekture. While in Spain there’s the fabulously scrumptious sounding bombones.
It’s all a confectionery of delights
So now you know all that let’s skip the lessons and get on to the real crux of the matter. Which of our confection of 650 retro sweets, sweeties, candies, jellies and hard boilings will you be choosing to give to your best friend, partner, wedding day couple, birthday boy, birthday girl – or even yourself? We’re looking for a confectionery of answers!