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Knickerbocker Glory

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on June 26, 2010 at 07:27

In Reply to: Knickerbocker Glory posted by Brian from Shawnee on June 25, 2010 at 18:13:

: : : I'm doing some research on the origin of the name Knickerbocker Glory. Some references claim the ice-cream desert to be a British concoction. 'Knickerbockers' appears to refer to early Dutch New Yorkers and 'knickerbocker glory' was used in that context before it was an ice-cream. Has anyone any knowledge of the expression being used in relation to New York?

: : I only found Knickerbocker Glory in one reference -- Brewer's -- and it said, "It is not clear what relationship, if any, it has with Knickerbockers." Could it have a connection with the Knickerbocker Hotel?

: I grew up in the NY metro area beginning in 1960, and I have to say I can't recall hearing the two words put together before. I would have guessed it was a reference to the New York Knicks basketball team, but the team was only formed in the late 1940's and didn't achieve much glory until 1969-70.

The OED doesn't offer any explanation of the name at all. However, "An A-Z of Food and Drink" (Ed. John Ayto. Oxford University Press, 2002) offers this: 'A knickerbocker glory is an elaborate ice-cream dessert consisting of layers of ice-cream, jelly, fruit, and cream served in a tall glass. It has no connection with nether garments; the term was presumably inspired by Diedrich Knickerbocker, the mock-Dutch name invented by Washington Irving for the fictitious author of his History of New York . This subsequently became synonymous with the descendants of the original Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam, and eventually with New Yorkers in general - so a knickerbocker glory is essentially a tribute to New York. The term is first recorded in the 1930s.' (VSD)