July 29, 2020 It’s the Foxy Season
As soon as summer comes around in Brooklyn, you start to see Foxies everywhere—in bulk in the groceries or in the hands of little kids who sit on stoops and suck on reds and purples and greens.
But what are Foxies, you ask?
Why of course, Foxies are Foxy Pops, or as you might know them, Icees. Apparently, the name for this summer treat is widely contested. Some call them Icees, popsicles, Fla-Vor-Ice, Otter Pops, Zooper Doopers, Chupps. We called them Foxy Pops. There are several polls around the web asking people what name they use, and the conversation gets very lively. I have tried to scroll through the endless list of answers, but couldn’t find a single defense for our word, the famous Foxy.
(For examples of said lively conversations, see here.)
How did we come by Foxy?
According to Wikipedia, one of the prominent brands for these frozen treats was Foxy Pop. Interestingly, these were the brands for Canada, UK, Ireland, and France. Somehow, this brand became the name Hasidim used for the Icee, and it stuck.
In the Hasidic world of candies and treats, there are several similar examples of names that stuck in this lexicon but are out of use elsewhere. For instance we called Winkies “Asprin candies,” another archaic term that stuck.
I’ve been collecting a bunch of examples in food, games, language where Hasidim have time capsules of sorts, with words that are long forgotten or playground games almost out of use, still popular with the young ones. This is part of the larger story of how Hasidim have assimilated and resisted assimilation at once, which I hope to one day piece together into a book.