Cotton Candy Around the World

Photo of Cotton Candy

I was talking with Monique from France today and she mentioned that cotton candy in French is called la barbe à papa – Daddy’s beard. I love this image!

In England, it’s called Candyfloss.

In Australia, it’s fairy floss (how cool is that?!)

In Spain, it’s algodón de azúcar, meaning sugared cotton.

In Italy, zucchero filato, meaning spun sugar which is really what it is.

Thanks to Monique of the French and Spanish version of Mama Lisa’s World for sharing this with us!

Please share your phrase for cotton candy in the comments below with an English translation.


Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 at 9:10 pm and is filed under Cotton Candy Around the World, Countries & Cultures, English, French, Italian, Italy, Languages, Mama Lisa, Spain, Spanish, United Kingdom, USA, Words & Phrases. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

15 Responses to “Cotton Candy Around the World”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Here are some comments I got on this post via Facebook:

    Petter Mæhlum:

    In Norwegian (at least in my dialect) it is “sukkerspinn”, which means “spun sugar” (“spinn” is a noun, but I do not know what the noun of the verb” to spin” is in english, like “something that is spun”).

    Ay Isan:

    In Turkish it’s “pamuk helva”. (pamuk: cotton) – (helva: halva )

    Ayako Egawa:

    In Japanese it is “wata-gashi”. wata means cotton, gashi means sweets, almost the same as that of English.

    Batatakley Val:

    In Argentina: COPO DE AZUCAR Sugar flake.

    Teresa Serra:

    Hi Lisa
    I also really like the term “barbe à papa”. In Italy it is called cotton candy (zucchero filato) …
    a hug Teresa

  2. BookishIma Says:

    In Hebrew it is called Se’arot Savta – meaning Grandma’s Hair. Similar to the French!

    This is my first comment here, so I wanted to say how much my family enjoys your blog and all the resources here. I write about Israeli kids’ books, poems, songs and traditions on my blog – I’ll try to share some translations with you.

  3. Lisa Says:

    Lyndsey Haezebrouck wrote:

    “We call it SUIKERSPIN in Belgium- a bit like Petter Maehlum was saying in Norwegian. Just that for us it translates to ‘Sugar Spider’…!”

  4. Ulla-Maija Says:

    In Finnish it is called “hattara”.

    It is funny in French: “la barbe à papa”!

  5. Debbie van Baalen Says:

    Hi Lisa,
    In the Netherlands fairy floss is called “Suikerspin” – “suiker” means sugar and “spin” refers to the fact that it is made in a machine which turns. Spin comes from the Dutch word “spinnen” which means to turn.
    Spose it doesn’t matter which country you’re eating it in – it still tastes really good!!
    – Debbie.

  6. Erika Says:

    In Afrikaans we call it ‘spook asem’ meaning ghosts breath

  7. Hana Says:

    In Czech we call it “cukrová vata” – sugar cottonwool.

  8. Lisa Says:

    That’s cool Hana!

  9. Mod Says:

    Sawatdee ka

    In Thailand, it is called ‘Sai Mai’ meaning ‘silk threads’.


  10. Maryam Says:

    The Persian word is a bit disgusting , “Paskmak” meaning “Wool” with “ak” in the end to show the smallness!

  11. Lisa Says:

    Maybe it’s because cotton candy looks a little like a small bunch of wool (directly from the sheep).

  12. annie Says:

    In Myanmar it is called “Ar Tar Pu Se” there is no specific meaning for that. We just called it out of nowhere. Also known as “Ngat Thike” which means bird nest but it has no fun in it. So, let’s just go with “Ar Tar Pu Se”.

  13. Brian Says:

    It has always been called fairy floss in Australia, and still is, thank God. “Candy” introduces American English, which is related to English but not all that closely.

  14. Muhammad Zia Says:

    In Pakistan cotton candy is called “Old Lady’s Hair”. Burya key Bal.

  15. I-ATE Food Term of the Week: Cotton Candy Says:

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