Back to articles

How come we call a fizzy drink with ice cream in it 'a spider'?

May 13, 2010

How come we call a fizzy drink with ice cream in it 'a spider'?

This seems to go back to British slang of the last century where it referred to a glass of lemonade with a shot of something in it. The 'something' varied  claret, brandy, whatever alcoholic item was available.

The folklore about this is that the shot was the spider that followed the fly (it is reminiscent of the rhyme about the old lady who swallowed the fly  why oh why did she swallow a fly?) but this is probably an explanation made up after the event because no one knows why the shot was called a spider.

Anyway in Australian English this changed to a fizzy drink with 'a shot' of ice-cream in it.

This article was originally posted on our Facebook page.


Join the discussion!

Please sign in to post a comment. Not a member? Join Macquarie Dictionary today!


There are no comments yet. Be the first to post a comment!