How do English-speaking kids loudly request something?



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.)


Posted 2019-09-05T00:52:56.833

Reputation: 3 393

4Are 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 – 2019-09-06T00:21:58.227

5I 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. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft – 2019-09-06T01:04:45.547

2I 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 – 2019-09-06T06:35:17.540

2If 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 – 2019-09-06T06:37:55.760

2Of 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 – 2019-09-06T06:44:15.440

@Mari-LouA No comments by the author regarding their intention about the title have been removed. Comments about how someone else made a suggested edit to the title and how a third person tried to make the same suggested edit but were blocked by the existing edit were removed after the edit was approved. The comment about the edit being possibly incorrect was preserved. Frankly, the edit shouldn’t have been made without confirmation from the author in my opinion, but the community approved the edit. – ColleenV – 2019-09-06T12:22:55.500




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.

Jesse Steele

Posted 2019-09-05T00:52:56.833

Reputation: 876

20You might want to mention that just saying "Ice cream!" as a demand is extremely rude, even though it is common for little kids. – gormadoc – 2019-09-05T17:38:54.480

3You 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 Steele – 2019-09-05T17:51:46.387

1But 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 – 2019-09-06T12:27:15.173

I would, but "degrees of politeness" appear nowhere in the OP. And, people rarely delete a comment as awesome and popular as this one. – Jesse Steele – 2019-09-06T12:32:39.033

4IMO 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 – 2019-09-06T12:54:26.117

1This answer is puzzling until one sees that the question's original title was “How do Engilsh kids speak loudly about request something?”. – Anton Sherwood – 2019-09-06T17:11:38.430


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?”


Posted 2019-09-05T00:52:56.833

Reputation: 3 768

2Yes, "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 – 2019-09-05T01:54:12.970

5A 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 – 2019-09-05T09:42:17.653

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. – Peter Taylor – 2019-09-05T09:53:02.033

4"An ice-cream" is a bar, while "ice-cream" would be (a serving) from a tub. – Rycochet – 2019-09-05T09:53:37.490


@Zhang A Fudgsicle has some chocolate flavor (and part of the Popsicle family of brands), so some may identify the treats in the picture as (generic) fudgsicles. Ice cream without a stick may be a bowl of ice cream, an ice cream cone, an ice cream sandwich (one brand being Klondike), or perhaps a Drumstick.

– Greg Bacon – 2019-09-05T11:17:37.610

@ammonite In the U.S., we have chocolate-covered variations with a stick (Eskimo Pie) and without (Klondike bar). Eskimo Pie may confuse people because the term is commonly used in reference to ice cream sandwiches.

– Greg Bacon – 2019-09-05T11:25:10.543


Once my toddler daughter demanded: "Give me some ice cream!" and I answered, "What's the right way to ask?" hoping for one of your please may I have alternatives. Instead my daughter slowly clenched a tiny fist and answered, "If you don't give me some ice cream, I'm going to punch you." Luckily she was only joking around; she followed it up with a big smile and we both had a good laugh. P.S. to @Rycochet - You might consider making that an answer, I think that's indeed how a child would ask for any ice cream novelty.

– J.R. – 2019-09-05T15:00:47.590

12Correcting 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. – Justin – 2019-09-05T17:57:06.493

1Just to add that in en-AU usage the equivalent of popsicle / ice lolly would be ice block. The dairy/creamy sort would be an ice cream (ie used as a singular noun) which seems in more international agreement. – caf – 2019-09-06T00:20:33.050

"choc ice (with nonstick...)" You mean "with no stick". Nonstick (or non-stick) is a plastic coating that stops, e.g., food sticking to cooking pans; teflon, for example. – David Richerby – 2019-09-06T16:59:45.327


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?.)


Posted 2019-09-05T00:52:56.833

Reputation: 8 151

1Yes, It should be "She was yelling at 'I really want a popsicle!'" – Zhang – 2019-09-05T01:46:44.453

30Depending 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 – 2019-09-05T07:54:37.277

3Just 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 – 2019-09-05T09:51:45.230

1International English calls it an "ice lolly" - not a "popsicle". – Chris Melville – 2019-09-05T10:10:37.543

10You forgot the infamous "I need a popsicle!", with "need" being drawn out to various lengths and wobbles as whininess increases... – Chronocidal – 2019-09-05T10:31:27.227

4Just like adding "please" would make it more polite, adding "now!" would make it ruder, or at least more insistent. – Mike Harris – 2019-09-05T12:57:19.127

4Don'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 – 2019-09-05T16:37:10.057

1Using "now" might not be impolite in certain, specific situations. "May I please have a popsicle now?" would be perfectly polite for a child to ask if they met a certain set of criteria before they could have the popsicle, such as eating their supper/vegetables, doing their homework, or cleaning their room. – computercarguy – 2019-09-05T19:52:18.220

1I am reminded of a conversation I had with a four-year-old once. Her: "I need a popsicle!" Me: "Do you know the difference between a want and a need?" Her, looking at me like I am a god damn idiot: "Yeah, a want is when you want something, but a need is when you NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED it." I could not argue with that. – Eric Lippert – 2019-09-05T22:16:46.403

2You can definitely identify the parents in this comment thread. – John Clifford – 2019-09-06T10:11:29.387


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!


Posted 2019-09-05T00:52:56.833

Reputation: 71

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.

– Tom Anderson – 2019-09-06T14:31:25.020

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 – 2019-09-06T18:15:59.713

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 – 2019-09-06T20:41:17.047


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?")

April Salutes Monica C.

Posted 2019-09-05T00:52:56.833

Reputation: 581

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!". – Tom Anderson – 2019-09-06T14:39:04.810

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. – rackandboneman – 2019-09-06T20:18:00.477


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


April Salutes Monica C.

Posted 2019-09-05T00:52:56.833

Reputation: 581


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.


Posted 2019-09-05T00:52:56.833

Reputation: 23 316


Interesting! In the UK, the jingle is usually "Greensleeves". The BBC have a surprisingly detailed article about ice cream jingles.

– Tom Anderson – 2019-09-06T14:37:10.960

@TomAnderson -- Thank you for the BBC link! I have corrected the answer accordingly. – Jasper – 2019-09-06T15:56:47.353

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 – 2019-09-08T14:24:43.950


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.

gone fishin' again.

Posted 2019-09-05T00:52:56.833

Reputation: 10 773


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

an "icy-pole".

Gimme an icy-pole mate.


Posted 2019-09-05T00:52:56.833

Reputation: 225

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 – 2019-09-07T05:09:19.357

Good info (mate!) thanks – Fattie – 2019-09-07T11:47:40.323


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).


Posted 2019-09-05T00:52:56.833

Reputation: 21

Never, ever heard "popsicle" in any part of Aus. That would really sound like an americanism to me (in the Aussie context). – Fattie – 2019-09-07T11:48:41.713


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.


Posted 2019-09-05T00:52:56.833

Reputation: 11


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.


Posted 2019-09-05T00:52:56.833

Reputation: 111