A Bonbons

HSS

Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
The following is excerpted from Seinfeld (season 4, episode 15). I wondered if this 'a' was needed? Bonbons looks to me like a plural noun.

(George and Elaine have been debating how he could reimburse her with 7.50 he owes her. He only has a 20 dollar bill)
Elaine: Tell you what. Give me the 20, I'll buy you a popcorn and soda...
...and I'll throw in a bonbons. ... George, you're sapping my strength.
George: Come on, let's go!

Thanks,

Hiro
 
  • HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Does this kind of construct sometimes occur, referring to a box/can etc. of (food)? I suspect not as I read you say 'odd snippet.'

    Hiro
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I do find it odd, Hiro. You can say "Did you get the beers out of the car?", but "I'm going to give him a beers" is just weird. I would never say "I'm going to get a beans off the shelf" to mean "a can of beans". The expression "a bonbons" in Seinfeld is probably some sort of joke whose meaning relates to something said earlier in the episode or series.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Due to the popcorn and soda reference, I believe it refers to a box or tube of chocolate-coated ice cream bites that are sometime sold in theaters.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    "Bonbons" is a frozen treat that can be bought at many movie theaters in the U.S. They are small ice cream "balls" that have been coated in chocolate. It makes sense to me that he would say "a Bonbons" just as he would say "a Snickers".
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thanks for the info, Myridon and James. :)
    Hiro, you had no way of knowing this, but "Bonbons" is capitalized here. We do use the plural with a singular article with certain brand names that end in "s".
     

    Woofer

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I agree entirely with Myridon. Bonbons were the brand name of a chocolate ice-cream candy commonly found in movie theaters, although I think they're fairly rare these days.

    As a brand name, it's not particularly uncommon to use the plural, just as I might purchase an M&M's, a Skittles or a Mentos (is one of those a Mento or a Mentos?).
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Thanks for the clarification, Myridon, James, owlman, and Woofer. So it's a product brand, I see. It makes sense to have 'a' even though the word ends in 's' if it's a brand.

    Thanks!

    Hiro
     
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