Yesterday, I was teaching my daughter English. She didn't want to study. She just spoke loudly, and said, in Chinese:

"I strongly demand an ice cream stick!"

I told her, if she could say this sentence in English I would buy one for her, but even I couldn't compose this sentence in English.

So, how do English kids speak of that?

enter image description here

(I'm not sure what these are called in English.)

  • 4
    Are you asking for the noun - what is the ice cream you posted a picture called in English? Or how would a child ask for one of those?
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 0:21
  • 5
    I think the title change was incorrect, based on the original question. The fact that he doesn't know what "ice cream sticks" are called in English was clearly an aside. Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 1:04
  • 2
    I understand that the OP is asking how would someone demand to have an ice-cream, the title is very clear. Then at the bottom of the post, in parenthesis, the OP asks what ice-creams on a stick are called in English. You therefore have one main question and a side (afterthought) question. The fact that many users have chosen to answer the side issue (because it's easier?) is not the post's fault.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 6:35
  • 2
    If in fact the author, Zhang, only wants to know the name of this ice-cream they can edit the title themselves. They are not an unregistered low-rep user, their command of the English language is sufficiently good. If a mistake has been made, the fix is easy. If the author clarified in the comments that the edited title was their real intention, then that comment should not have been deleted. I suspect that many comments have been deleted, well sometimes you need some sort of papertrail to understand what's happening.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 6:37
  • 2
    Of course, the confusion is such that the question risks being closed for being unclear. Can the OP, Zhang, please clarify in a edit if they only want to know what to call ice-creams on a stick.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 6:44

12 Answers 12



10 years ESL in a Mandarin-speaking country, that is the "authority" I answer from. (SE wants 'sources', which accepts personal experience, though cited sources is the common habit.)

Your question is about Mandarin speakers understanding English communication.

In addressing the title of the question, not the synonyms of an ice cream bar, the issue is tone.

In Mandarin, the 4 (or 5) tones provide a lexical meaning. But, in English, tone is a song invented on the spot, without rehearsal or awareness.

It is in the tone, the "song of the sentence" if you will, that an English speaker would emphasize the idea of including "strongly demand" in Mandarin. Just the shortened terms "ice cream [bar]" or "chocolate [bar]" in an emphatic, song-like tone would do it.

For native Mandarin speakers, that is difficult because the English song tone is not instructed; it is culturally absorbed. How to teach English tone through immersion is a different Question. But, in my experienced opinion with your situation, tone provides the meaning you seek more than any pattern of words.

  • 20
    You might want to mention that just saying "Ice cream!" as a demand is extremely rude, even though it is common for little kids.
    – gormadoc
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 17:38
  • 3
    You just did here, and I agree. But, courtesy and what is and is not acceptable isn't specifically part of the Question. Up-voting your comment.
    – Jesse
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 17:51
  • 1
    But comments can get deleted, either by the author or by the community, and if gormadoc's comment is deleted, then their observation is lost, like tears in rain.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 12:27
  • 4
    IMO this is the only answer that addresses what I see as the actual question which seems to be how to say the sentence/demand.
    – Robert
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 12:54
  • 2
    This answer is puzzling until one sees that the question's original title was “How do Engilsh kids speak loudly about request something?”. Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 17:11

U. S. Usage

Officially, it’s called an ice cream bar or people will use the brand name “Popsicle” or, less commonly, “Fudgesicle.”

Except for the brand names, we don’t have a term (a generic word) for “one with a stick”. An ice cream bar without a stick could also be an ice cream sandwich.

The grocery store sometimes labels these items “frozen novelties” but that’s not a term we normally (ever) use.

U. K. Usage

Based on the comments: in the UK it may be called an ice lolly (with a stick) or a choc ice (with nonstick, and a chocolate coating.)

“An ice cream” (with the word an) is used to refer to one with a stick, and “ice cream” (with the zero article, and considered a mass noun) means something that might be served from a large tub.

I’ll have an ice cream Vs. I’ll have some ice cream, or I want ice cream.

Sources Say...

Wikipedia says,

The ice cream bar is distinct from the popsicle, which does not contain any ice cream.

— Wikipedia

A popsicle is

a brand name (trademark) for a sweet piece of ice with a fruit flavour on a small stick

—Cambridge Dictionary

Common Usage (How U. S. Kids Talk)

So according to the dictionary, a chocolate or vanilla one is an ice cream bar, but only a fruit one is a popsicle.

I’m here to tell you that at my house, regardless of flavor, my kids would say “I want a popsicle.”

When I correct them, they would say “Can I please have a popsicle?

They should say, “May I (please) have a popsicle?”

  • 2
    Yes, "popsicle" is great. You know, I search 雪糕 in many ways. Every result tells me it's "ice cream." Even Goole translation translates it to be "ice cream." I don't believe it.
    – Zhang
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 1:54
  • 5
    A UK "choc ice" is covered in chocolate and is not on a stick. I (British) would just call the one in the photo an "ice cream"
    – ammonite
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 9:42
  • 7
    @Zhang, a popsicle (en-US) or ice lolly (en-GB) is essentially frozen water with colourings and flavourings. Non-commercial ones or high quality ones might be frozen fruit juice. There are at least two significant differences between popsicles and ice-cream: the absence of dairy / dairy substitutes, and the lack of churning to introduce small air bubbles which make the texture much softer. Dairy + no churning would give a milk lolly (en-GB); I'm not sure whether these exist in en-US. Churning + no dairy would give a sorbet. Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 9:53
  • 4
    "An ice-cream" is a bar, while "ice-cream" would be (a serving) from a tub.
    – Rycochet
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 9:53
  • 12
    Correcting can to may is generally seen as pedantic (and is stereotypically associated with strict schoolteachers). In common usage even adults often use can in that situation. At least in the US. Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 17:57

Depending on the flavor, Americans might call them Fudgesicles or popsicles or ice-cream bars.

American children would not use any variation of I strongly demand a ...

These would be common, from more polite to less polite:


  • May I have a popsicle.
  • Would you get me a popsicle.


  • I want a popsicle.
  • I really want a popsicle.

Neutral, but so, so annoying:

  • I neeeeeeed a popsicle. [Thanks, Chronocidal]


  • Get me a popsicle.

....and, of course, adding "please" onto any of these would make them more polite, while adding now would do the opposite (unless there is contextual reason for it: e.g. I have finished my homework. May I have a popsicle now?.)

  • 30
    Depending on age it might just be an ear-splitting wail of "AAAAAAAWANNAAICECREEEEAAAM" ('I want icecream' for those who don't speak two-year-old)
    – Borgh
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 7:54
  • 4
    Just for completeness - these are all American names, and not used in the UK at all (so depends on which variant she is being taught).
    – Rycochet
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 9:51
  • 10
    You forgot the infamous "I need a popsicle!", with "need" being drawn out to various lengths and wobbles as whininess increases... Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 10:31
  • 4
    Just like adding "please" would make it more polite, adding "now!" would make it ruder, or at least more insistent. Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 12:57
  • 4
    Don't forget the 'Gimme' a popsicle in the rude category; if we're speaking of small children "gimmie" (give me) is very close to 'I strongly demand'.
    – Meg
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 16:37

In England we would say "I would like an ice-cream" an ice-lolly is completely different it is more frozen (flavoured) water and not ice-cream.

As to whether it's on a stick or not, that depends on what's available and what the alternative options are. For example, if I go into an ice-cream shop the options would be:

  • A cone - which is an ice-cream held in a wafer cone
  • A tub - which is an ice-cream held in a tub
  • An ice-cream on a stick

For each I would say the following:

  • I would like a cone
  • I would like a tub with 1 (2, 3, 4...) scoops

The ice-cream on a stick is something pre-manufactured and not made in the shop so I would always refer to it by it's brand e.g "I would like a magnum" or I would simply point to a picture of the ice-cream I want and say "I want that one"

On the other hand, if I'm in my house and my kids ask me for an ice-cream, that generally means whatever is in the freezer at the time. If I had multiple options of ice-cream there would always be a follow up question "Which do you want?" and they would either say a flavour which would typically imply free-form ice-cream unless I have multiple flavours of the same ice-cream on a stick where they would have to fall back to the brand of ice-cream.

In my 29 years living in England I've never heard anyone refer to it as an ice-cream on a stick.

This is a great question, I never realised something as simple as ice-cream could be considered confusing but when you think about it it really is!

  • I would also define an "ice lolly" as being watery not creamy, but it seems to be widespread to refer to ice-cream-on-a-stick that way - apparently 28% of our countrypeople consider a Magnum to be an ice lolly. Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 14:31
  • In the US that ice cream in a 'tub' would be called ice cream in a 'dish' or possibly a bowl. Ice cream in a tub would refer to the very large multi-serving plastic container packaging of (usually cheap quality) ice cream! Just to add to the complication.
    – Meg
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 18:15
  • I can't believe that I've never heard anyone call a magnum an icelolly! We also call it a bowl or dish if it's in a ceramic bowl/dish 😊 when I say tub I mean a small cardboard disposable tub
    – mrmadhat
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 20:41

Focusing on the verb in the situation, I think if the daughter had said "strongly demand" in English, that would sound ok to me, or just "demand", but it's very imperious.

I demand an ice cream bar!

Below I'll cover more polite requests, but if I'm a child and I want an ice-cream face on a stick, I probably just want it, and don't think in terms of politeness or even purchasing.

I want an ice cream bar!

Example: Willie Wonka and the Chocolate factory - Video of a character Loudly Demanding (in song) everything

(This is a little different from the trope of the "I Want" song, which is more of a heart's desire, rarely spoken aloud (except in musicals).

This instructional video shows a variety of ways to "want" things, such as "crave" or "feel like". "Crave" is stronger than "feel like." Both are more likely to be used by teens perhaps, instead of a child.

Side note - I see why you asked here -- trying to find "English" and "demand" seemed to focus on headlines of some people demanding other people learn the language, and "English + want" resulted in people offering courses for those who want to learn English fast!

This link shows more polite was to request things, such as requesting a parent to purchase a treat. I know this isn't exactly what you asked for, but I thought it may help to have some contrast.

Asking others to do things – making requests

Asking              Saying Yes      Saying No
Can you...?         Yes, sure.      Well, I'm afraid + reason 
Could you...?          Yes, of course    Sorry, but...
Is it all right if...?    Certainly.
 Do you think you could...?
 Will you...?
 Would you...? 

Note that the direct statements ("I want/demand/crave it") are considered more direct, while the polite versions below have circumlocutions and are often questions: ("Could you please buy me the thing? Is it all right if I buy the thing?")

  • I would expect a child to use fairly straightforward language: "I want an ice lolly!". Or, as a more intensive form, "Dad! I want an ice lolly!", which can be made even more intensive by lengthening the first vowel - "Daaaaaad! I want an ice lolly!". Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 14:39
  • 1
    "demand" is very strong if referring to something you have entitlement to, but can quickly come across either ridiculous, threatening, shameless, condescending, or very rude if there is no entitlement. Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 20:18

I think a general term would be "ice cream bar" -- popsicle and the like suggest juice-based or flavored-water based treats.

Source: https://www.walmart.com/c/kp/ice-cream-bars


American ice cream trucks tour many neighborhoods. As other posters mention, they sell popsicles, ice cream on a stick, Drumsticks, and other "frozen novelties". These trucks announce their presence by playing the tune of "The Entertainer". "Greensleeves" is common in England, Australia, and New Zealand.

American kids often "ask" their parents for money to buy these treats by singing:

I scream,
you scream,
we all scream,
for ice cream!

This song becomes louder toward the end.

  • 1
    Interesting! In the UK, the jingle is usually "Greensleeves". The BBC have a surprisingly detailed article about ice cream jingles. Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 14:37
  • @TomAnderson -- Thank you for the BBC link! I have corrected the answer accordingly.
    – Jasper
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 15:56
  • This is somewhat beside the point, but does The Entertainer really have much in common with Skip to My Lou? They're both in 4/4, but beyond that.....?
    – Adam
    Commented Sep 8, 2019 at 14:24

The question says "loudly request". I'd say that eliminates the element of politeness in any small child.

A British kid would pretty much by default, say

"I want a lolly"

'I want' is the default 'asking mode' for most under 5s [& some even older].
You can admonish them as much as you like but if they want something they want it & no amount of polite education is going to change that when they're just shy of a tantrum.

Outside of tantrum territory, you might get them to say "Could I have a lolly please?" or in reply to a direct question "I would like a lolly."

A 'lolly' is anything sweet on a stick - be it ice cream, frozen 'fruit' juice, toffee, compressed sherbet or a sugar-based boiled sweet.

If it has a stick it's a lolly.


In Australia, this is one of those words that changes from state to state. In Western Australia (WA), I've only ever heard it called "an icy-pole" - but I note that people from other states have declared that "in Australia" we call it a popsicle, an ice lolly or an ice block (terms I've basically never heard used in WA).

I'd put this on the list of food-related items that are just different around the country: "Milk Bar" in some states is "Deli" in WA, "Devon" is "Polony" in WA, "Cantelope" is "Rock Melon"... It's a good reminder that just because you live in a country and you've only heard things said a certain way, doesn't mean you can say it's the way it is country-wide (and especially not English-speaking-world-wide).

  • Never, ever heard "popsicle" in any part of Aus. That would really sound like an americanism to me (in the Aussie context).
    – Fattie
    Commented Sep 7, 2019 at 11:48

I think, but I'm not certain, down in Australia it's

an "icy-pole".

Gimme an icy-pole mate.

  • Partially correct. An icy pole is a frozen confection on a stick made without milk. A frozen confection on a stick made with milk is an ice cream.
    – CJ Dennis
    Commented Sep 7, 2019 at 5:09

In the US the word "strongly" would seem superfluous and unnatural in this case, and would simply be omitted from the sentence. A child might say "I demand an ice cream", and the tone of voice would convey the urgency, or strength, of the request. Phrasing a request that way is unlikely to result in a positive outcome though. A grammatically correct request would be "May I please have an ice cream". Of course if you have already entered into bargaining with your daughter to exchange studying for ice cream she might say "I said I want an ice cream in English, I'm done studying now".

Even as a native English speaker, unless the ice cream had a specific brand-name, I would call it an ice cream on a stick and describe it as the one with the face on it. To me an ice cream pop would indicate a shape more like a traditional popsicle, so I wouldn't use it in this case.


Children often get ignored if they don't use good manners.

Can I have an ice cream please can be highly effective.

I demand an ice cream now may be less effective than saying nothing at all.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .