And shouldn’t it technically be Teethpaste? Honestly, I’m asking. As everybody knows, the vicissitudes of the English language are many and storied, and while we may be novitiates with regard to the inflectional rules of certain nettlesome lexemes, we here at Candy.com know our Candy. Which is why I can answer the following question; which came first, Chiclets gum, or Chiclets as slang term for those things that are always a-fallin’ out of your head and having to be brushed, etc?
Place your wagers.
Turns out the answer is the gum, the term proceeding from the (apparently accidental) resemblance these ancient chews bear to common teeth, not the reverse, silly. So why such an unusual name— one that makes one think of small, young birds and bar-fights? Ever heard of the “Chicle?” It’s a tropical evergreen tree that grows in Mexico, Central and South America, which produces a resinous sap, long chewed by the indigenous folks of the area and adopted for use as the gum base in the original manufacture of Chiclets gum back in 1906. Highly renowned, Chiclets have been so ubiquitous in some parts of the world (especially in the Middle East and portions of North Africa and Europe) that the name has become a general term for all varieties of chewing gum.
Could numerous millions and several generations be wrong?
Of course they could, but we’re not going to hate on Chiclets (without) just ‘cause. Chiclets are solid gum, both literally and conversationally. The peppermint and spearmint varieties have clean, refreshing, aptly-named flavors and a crispy candy shell that sets them apart from most of your basic chews. The first bite is a heavenly, mentholated blast of soft and crunchy and while, (like anything, but gum in particular), the good times don’t last, I’d guess fifteen to twenty minutes of herbivore-caliber chewing had elapsed by the time I realized I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore.
Unfortunately, there’s a dearth of the assorted-fruit Chiclets around the office so I can’t comment on them at this time, but if my memory serves me, (which is regrettably seldom) they’re also pretty dang good. I’ll get back to you on ‘em.