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18:23 Aug 24, 2000
English to French translations [PRO]
English term or phrase: taffy
the candy made from molasses and butter, boiled and pulled till very elastic.

Summary of answers provided
natire d'érable (Can.), bonbon au caramel (US)
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
nafurther ref and info
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
na"Tire Sainte-Catherine" ou "tire de la Sainte-Catherine"Louise Atfield
nabarbe à papa
Yolanda Broad
napâte à berlingot ou caramel au beurresktrans
nabonbon au caramel ou tire Sainte-CatherinePauline Côté



47 mins
bonbon au caramel ou tire Sainte-Catherine

À taffy, le Robert-Collins donne bonbon au caramel, cependant
ce que tu décris ressemble plutôt à ce qu'on appelle au
Québec, la tire Sainte-Catherine qui est faite à partir de
mélasse et de divers ingrédients (soit du vinaigre, la crème de tartre,
chaque recette a sa variante), on y ajoute du beurre et on
l'étire et l'étire encore.

On mange de la tire Sainte-Catherine le 25 novembre.

J'espère que ça pourra t'aider.


    Robert &Collins
Pauline Côté
Local time: 15:55
Native speaker of: French
PRO pts in pair: 88

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Yolanda Broad
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1 hr
pâte à berlingot ou caramel au beurre

The Larousse gives these definitions for "Berlingot": bonbon de sucre cuit et aromatisé"; for caramel "bonbon de sucre et d'un corps gras (lait, crème) aromatisé".
The French (France) palate is used more to candy made from sugar than from molasses. The same Larousse defines " mélasse":résidu sirupeux non cristallisable de la fabrication du sucre cristallisé à partir de la betterave ou de la canne, contenant 40 à 50% de sucre et utilisé notamment pour l'alimentation du bétail"

Local time: 15:55
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 693

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne
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12 hrs
barbe à papa

Just checked my Oxford Superlex (along with a couple of dicos on paper). The Oxford gives:

taffy / noun US þ barbe f à papa.

Barbe à papa is definitely a candy I used to eat as a child, in France, and matches the taste of taffy (which I would make, following recipes from the Joy of Cooking: the advantages of growing up bilingual in another country!)

If you are looking for the Canadian term, then the tire de Ste. Catherine of the first answer would be the way to go.

    Oxford Superlex
Yolanda Broad
United States
Local time: 15:55
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 720

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne
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16 hrs
"Tire Sainte-Catherine" ou "tire de la Sainte-Catherine"

You will find the complete recipe at the site below. (Yummy!)

Of course, the term "tire" comes from the fact that you have to pull and pull (tirer) the candy until you reach this lovely pale caramel colour.

Note that if you were to talk about Maple taffy, it would be called "tire d'érable". This one, you don't have to pull, just pour it on the snow. But it still somehow gets the name "tire"...

Please note also that "Barbe à papa" which was suggested as a translation is "cotton candy" in English. Not at all the same thing. (See those two sites: lesson 07.htm ) will find
Louise Atfield
PRO pts in pair: 577

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne
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1 day14 hrs
tire d'érable (Can.), bonbon au caramel (US)

It sounds like what children here (France) expect when they ask for a "Carambar". That is a tradename though. I suppose taffy is a sort of caramel chewy stick thing. Mmm!

Just a quickie on "barbe à papa", which I think you can eliminate. By the way, in US English it is "cotton candy" and in GB English is "candyfloss" : a difference confirmed by my Collins New English dictionary, and for which the descritpion is : a fluffy confection made from coloured spun sugar held on a stick. (There is no butter in it).

I suppose also that "taffy" is a play on the word "toffee", caramel.

Just to throw the spanner in the works, having lived not a million miles away from Wales, I can say with certainty that there a Taffy (Taffies) is a slang or nickname for a Welshman (a corruption of the supposed Welsh pronunciation of the boy's name David). Unless you are describing toffee-flavoured Welshmen, then perhaps the tire Sainte Catherine would work if your audience is Canadian.

My plain Robert & Collins gives "tire d'érable" for Canada and "bonbon au caramel" for US.

Happy chewing!


    Robert & Collins Bi-lingual
    Collins New Englsih Dictionary
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 21:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 882
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1 day20 hrs
further ref and info

Further web searches led me onto a truly scrumptious site. Check it out and discover what goes into DEWARS CHEWS, described as "pinky-sized, teeth sticking, wax paper wrapped" taffy, a peppermint, caramel adn peanut butter candy.

The site has loads of pictures and what taffy is, to them in any event, is clearly described in words and images. No excuse. I am perfectly absolutely sure now that it has nothing to do with canyfloss/cotton candy. Take a factory tour where the manufacturing process is described, with photos of each stage.

Out of pure curiosity, I checked out TIRE SAINTE CATHERINE and apart from one website giving a potted history of the original religious story, I came across a receipe :

The two really appear to match up well. However, if your audience is European, you may have to satisfy yourself with something else depending on your final context.

The visual aspect of the French Berlingot is pretty close although given the stickiness of "taffy" and the fact that berlingots are hard - just like the GB humbugs, which are bullet-hard pyramid-shaped sweets - I am not confident that this term will do it.

Bonne nuit,

Nikki (for images generally and factory tour)
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 21:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 882
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