Attention, New Englanders: Fluffernutter Is Now a Word


“There is no advocacy,” he added, and a word’s currency is not necessarily a function of novelty. “We watch to see, is this word’s use growing or is it falling? If the word is growing — even incrementally, even slowly, like fluffernutter — then it belongs in the dictionary.”

He added, “Every word has its own pace.”

The “evidence of first use” for fluffernutter occurred in The Daily Freeman newspaper in Kingston, N.Y., on Nov. 20, 1961, Mr. Sokolowski said. But over the years, the word remained mostly spoken and rarely printed, so it lacked the criteria for inclusion in the dictionary.


In 2006, a political kerfuffle began to change that. A state senator in Massachusetts, upset that his son wanted Fluff after eating a fluffernutter at school, sought to limit how many times a school could serve the sandwiches each week, as part of a bill to improve nutrition. (The New York Times reported at the time that fluffernutters met nutritional guidelines in the son’s school district; Fluff has fewer sugars per serving — six grams per two tablespoons

— than many jellies.)

In response, Ms. Reinstein filed legislation to make the fluffernutter the state sandwich. She recalled constituents’ yelling, “Fight for Fluff! Fight for Fluff!”

Both the senator’s and Ms. Reinstein’s efforts languished, but Mr. Sokolowski said the resulting national media coverage helped put the word on a trajectory to eventually join the dictionary. Merriam-Webster chose “fluffernutter” — one word, lowercase — because publications mostly styled the term this way, though the entry offers an uppercase variant, Mr. Sokolowski said.

“It’s very cool, there’s no question about it,” said Mr. Mower, whose company makes Marshmallow Fluff. “We were out walking the dog, and I saw a number of neighbors and friends on the walk. And they’re all saying, ‘Hey, we saw the news about the dictionary!’”

New Englanders also seem to agree on another key fluffernutter element.


Mimi Graney founded the Fluff festival and documented the history of the ingredient in her book “Fluff: The Sticky Sweet Story of an American Icon.”

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