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The word 'candy' is an interesting subject of debate when discussing British English. It seems that no two people agree on whether or not it is commonly used in Britain. Despite the variation in opinion, it's clear that the term is not widely renowned within the British English-speaking community. 

This article will discuss the use of 'candy' in the British English language and explore what the valid association of the word means for its English-speaking neighbors.

Candy is a very specific term, one that may vary in its meaning across different language variations. Although in some parts of the world, candy is a word primarily used to describe sweet foods, in others it is used as a generic term that includes any treat. 

It is interesting to note, then, that candy is barely acknowledged in British English, with many British people unaware of its existence or varied definition. So, is the word 'candy' used at all in British English and, if so, what does it mean?

Do the British love sweets?

It’s true that the British love their sweets. Everywhere you go, you’ll find old style sweet shops where you can find the likes of traditional favorites such as liquorice allsorts, sherbet fountains, and of course, the popular British classic – the bag of toffees. So, the answer to our question of whether the word 'candy' is used in British English, is definitely yes.


When one thinks of classic British treats, you might think of classic cakes such as Victoria sponge, scones and Eton Mess, or hot drinks such as tea and coffee. That being said, one thing is for certain, the Brits definitely love their candy.

In Britain, although you won’t hear 'candy' very often, you will hear the use of words such as 'treats', 'sweets' and 'chocolates' as a way to describe confectionery. It is thought that the word 'sweet' has been used in Britain since the 14th century, but the word 'candy' only became popularized in the 19th century.

Most supermarkets have entire aisles dedicated to sweets and chocolates, and some of the favorite British brands include Cadbury’s, Swizzels, and Nestle. It doesn’t just stop with chocolate, however. The British love their Pick ‘n’ Mix’ stands, which typically contain an array of colorful gummy sweets, caramel and chocolate coated fruits, and of course, the pickled onion flavor of course.

It’s safe to say that candy plays a huge role in British culture, and although the word 'candy' itself might not be used as frequently, British English certainly has plenty of ways to describe their sweet treats.

Do British people use the word candy?

The question of whether Britons use the word ‘candy’ is one that has been debated for years. The practice of using the word is thought to be more common in the United States, while those in the United Kingdom typically prefer to use the word ‘sweets’ instead. 

While the word ‘candy’ has certainly been used in Britain before, it is generally less commonly heard in British English dialect than its American equivalent.

The first use of the word ‘candy’ on British soil dates back to 12th century England, where it was used to describe an array of confections. However, its popularity quickly dropped as Britons looked to other terms to describe their favorite treats, such as ‘confectionery’ or ‘sweets’. 

Today, ‘candy’ is still used when referring to a few unique kinds of British sweets, such as fudge and boiled sweets, but for the most part it remains a more American term.

It’s not just the name ‘candy’ that differs between the two countries either. British versions of ‘candy’ tend to be more traditional in their ingredients, such as molasses and cane sugar, rather than the often-artificial sweeteners and flavorings used in American sweets. 

Perhaps here lies the reason why Britons stubbornly refuse to adopt the American term for their own confectionery and instead continue to refer to them as ‘sweets’ instead.

It seems that while Britons may have a deep history with the word ‘candy’, it has failed to become an entrenched part of the British English language and culture. Instead, those in the United Kingdom prefer the term ‘sweets’ to describe their beloved sugary treats.

Why do British people say lollies?

The word “candy” may not be used quite as frequently as its American equivalent, but for British people this word certainly still holds some significance. The word “candy” is used in Britain as an umbrella term for all types of sweet desserts and confectionery, sometimes instead of the more generic “sweets”. In particular, it is often used to refer to lollies.

Lollies, in British English, are not a huge part of the language, but are words which are still definitely used. Lollies don’t just refer to the colorful twisted pieces of sugar on plastic sticks, but can often be used to describe any type of sweet or sugary treat. 

They are often used quite affectionately, as a colloquialism or endearment when referring to any kind of sweet food. For example, someone may claim they “need to get some lollies” if they are out of food, or “I fancy some lollies later” to refer to desiring a snack later in the day.


The term “lollies” is, and has long been, used amongst all age groups in the UK, and is especially popular amongst youngsters who use it when talking about treats. Therefore, given its widespread application and familiarity, it can be argued that “lollies” remains an important word in British English. 

Its use is often light-hearted, pleasant and endearing – making it a small yet delightful part of the British vocabulary.

How do you say candy in British English?

The word 'candy' is commonly used in North American English, but it is not so widely used in British English. In Britain, the terms sweets, confectionery, sugary treats, sugary snacks, sugary drinks and sugary food are more likely to be used to refer to candy.

British English has a variety of terms for candy, depending on the type of candy being spoken about. For example, hard sweets such as boiled sweets, lollies and toffees can be referred to as boiled sweets, jellies, sherbet, oranges and bonbons. 

Chocolate can be referred to as creamy treats, chocolates, bars and chocolate bars. Similarly, biscuits can be referred to as bickies, biscuits and cakes, and a variety of other treats such as marshmallows and jellies can be called marshmallows, jellies and jellied sweets.

The terms used to describe candy in British English can change based on regional differences. For example, in the North of England, a sugary snack may be referred to as a “scramble”, while in Scotland, the same treat may be referred to as a “weaner”. Similarly, what is referred to as a jaffa or bouquet in London may be known as a “pyder” or “bunter” in North Wales.

In conclusion, while the word ‘candy’ is not commonly used to refer to sugary treats in British English, there are a variety of different words used to describe them, which can vary from region to region. If you are looking for a term for candy in British English, it is worth looking for regional terms, in addition to the more commonly used terms such as sweets, confectionery and sugary snacks.

What is a candy bar called in England?

Candy bars are a much-loved and popular treat all over the world. In the U.K they are likely to be referred to as ‘chocolate bars’ or ‘confectionery bars’. However this is not a hard and fast rule and there are terms used in popular culture that are most apparently associated with candy bars, such as 'treat' or 'sweet'. 

The word 'candy' is not generally used in British English to refer to a sweet or a chocolate bar, although it might be accepted as a synonym of 'confectionery' or 'sweet'.


It is important to note that there is a great amount of variety in the naming of candy bars in the British isles, ranging from traditional names, such as 'Freddo Bar' or 'Curly Wurly' to newer names like 'Twix' and 'Snickers'. 

This all depends on the age of the person saying it and the region they are speaking in. Both terms 'chocolate bar' and 'confectionery bar' are therefore likely to be encountered when discussing either chocolate bars or candy bars.

Perhaps the key takeaway when discussing candy bars in Britain is that candy is likely not to appear as a term in common parlance, while tra

ditional and modern names of chocolate bars are and will be used, possibly interchangeably. Therefore, the word 'candy' is not commonly heard in British English, although more chic words such as 'sweet' and 'treat' may be commonplace in this particular context.

What is hard candy called in the UK?

When it comes to language, the United Kingdom is a particularly unique entity. There are several areas of Britain where different dialects are spoken, and with that comes a wide range of slang, expressions and words. What is interesting about Britain is that many Americans would be surprised to learn that 'candy' isn't a word commonly used in British English.

The UK has a long history of its own terms for hard candy. For starters, 'toffees' are the preferred word for hard candies, usually the chewy kind. These can come in many different flavors, such as rhubarb, rum, and hazelnut. 

Other hard candies are referred to as 'frisky bags', 'spogs', and of course, 'crackles'. While these words may sound strange to a foreigner, they are commonly used throughout the country.

Jelly candies, or 'gums', have their own language unique to the United Kingdom as well. Gums are often referred to as 'boiled sweets', and a variety of colorful gummy shapes are referred to as 'shrimps' or 'jellied eels'. 

These are terms that many Americans wouldn't recognize, however they are commonly used when referring to these types of confections in Great Britain.

While 'Candy' is not really used in British English, the UK does have candy of its own, with its own slang and expressions that are both charming and uniquely British. Whether you are looking for hard candy or jelly treats, getting familiar with the British terms for these sweet indulgences is essential for navigating throughout Britain.

What candy does England not have?

Despite being a nation with a sweet tooth and rich in candy culture, England and its people have to do without a few classic American candy staples. Among the list of American snacks not to be found in England is the classic sweet and chewy taffy, better known by its genericized trademark 'Tootsie Roll' but lacking an official name. 

Also, fans of the 'crunchy satisfaction' of the iconic snack food 'Bugles' have to accept the reality that their favorite snack will remain inaccessible, along with a multitude of other American treats.

On the other hand, there are some notable 'candy' exceptions that can be found, albeit in different forms; for example, 'Twizzlers', the famous chocolate twisty licorice, is available in England as 'Licorice Allsorts' but with a different, more cakey texture compared to its American cousin. The classic American 'Jolly Rancher' is also recognized and beloved in Britain, but with a local twist known as 'Fruit Drops'. 

Although British brands such as Cadbury and Haribo have held a monopoly on the sweets market in England for centuries, American candy varieties are still gaining traction, particularly in the world's convenience stores and gas stations where they can be sourced.

Ultimately, while the word 'candy' is used in the British vernacular, it may refer to a broad range of sweet treats that could directly or indirectly correspond to existing American varieties. As for classic American sweets, the English language and culture are still largely unfamiliar with them, leaving many nostalgic and disappointed.

Overall, it is clear that the use of the word 'candy' is widely documented in British English, particularly when referencing American culture. While it is not a widely-used word in day-to-day conversation in the UK, it is widely accepted and understood when used in certain contexts. 

For those new to British English, it's important to remember that there are many words to refer to 'candy', but the word itself is used interchangeably between American and British English.

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