At my weekly reminiscence class last week we were looking back at words we don’t seem to use anymore and the origins of others. For example do you have a parlour, lounge, best room, front room or do you, like many people according to my class members, just say ‘room’? That of course invites the old joke ‘I’ll put big light on in’t room to read ‘..th’Echo...’. But in the front room do you have a settee or a sofa these days? May be you still have or at least had a bureau in your front room, I think we all did at one time alongside a radiogram. Did you have a fruit bowl with fruit actually in the bowl? Hmm, in some circles you were posh if it actually had fruit in it.
Do we still say the word fortnight and do you say five and twenty past or just twenty-five past? How times have changed.
One of the class then asked about a 99 - why is an ice cream cornet with a flake chocolate bar in called a 99?
Here we have Diane James and Katy Mennell at Kendall’s at Hipperholme in the summer of 1995 with a 99. I wonder if they knew why it was called a 99 all those years ago?
According to Cadbury’s in the days of the monarchy in Italy the King had an elite guard consisting of 99 soldiers. Subsequently anything really special or first class was known as “99”. When Cadbury’s launched its small flake for ice creams in 1930, the UK ice cream industry was dominated by ex-pat Italians. So, to appeal to Italians ‘...we called our superb Flake a “99....’