5

truck with fake ice cream cone on top

My daughter looked at the above picture and she said "a truck with a fake ice cream on its head".

What is it called?

Is it called "an ice cream figure"?

I am not sure because it seems like "figure" is used for people or animals

2
  • Who is the audience? For a child I would say something like "a huge ice cream cone".
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 26, 2022 at 21:38
  • The audience is anyone who watches American Pickers. What do they call a little boy holding a giant doughnut? Mobil's Pegasus is a sign. Doughnuts and fake ice cream are displays (designed to lure in customers)? : "an eye-catching arrangement by which something is exhibited"
    – Mazura
    Sep 27, 2022 at 1:24

3 Answers 3

16

I'd say "a fake ice cream" is a good description. A "mock ice cream cone" is also possible.

I'd be happy to just say "a giant ice cream cone on the roof" and allow the context to imply that it isn't real ice cream.

In more "grown-up" language you might call it a model, or a display.

6

Maybe a truck with a huge ice-cream cone sculpture on its roof.

The top of a closed motor vehicle is its roof.

The word cone is needed because it's not just a blob of ice cream:
M-W ice-cream cone
: a thin crisp edible cone for holding ice cream
also : one filled with ice cream

2
  • I think ‘cone’ would be implied by the context, anyway — and by the article (‘an ice cream’).
    – gidds
    Sep 25, 2022 at 18:54
  • 1
    @gidds I think I've seen ice cream trucks with a model of a cup of ice cream. OTOH, it's probably not usually necessary to distinguish cup and cone.
    – Barmar
    Sep 25, 2022 at 20:16
1

I don't think "figure" is wrong, but I would say "a figure of an ice cream cone." In general, one doesn't say "an X figure".

In Merriam-Webster, definition 3a for figure is:

: the graphic representation of a form especially of a person or geometric entity

[example:] a figure of a girl with pigtails

By this definition, you could argue that a sculpture cannot be a figure. It also supports your sense that we tend to use it with people. However, I think the main distinction between a figure of something and a picture/sculpture of something is that we (optionally) use the word "figure" if the representation is more generic or abstract, just as in the case of the ice cream cone. I also googled "a figure of a car" (with quotes) and got some hits. So there is some support for my intuition that it doesn't have to refer to people or geometric objects.

1
  • 3
    "Figure" almost always means a two-dimensional drawing, though, not a three-dimensional model or sculpture. Sep 26, 2022 at 17:40

You must log in to answer this question.

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