Can you slurp ice cream?

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elroy

Imperfect Mod
US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
A straightforward question:

Can you slurp ice cream?

If your answer is "yes," please give me a context in which you would say it.
If your answer is "no," please explain why not.

Thanks!
 
  • GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    In short, the answer is yes. However, it depends (at least to me) at what state of liquidity the ice cream is in when said slurping takes place.

    If the ice cream is dripping down the side of the cone (imagine holding a cone while standing outside in 90 degree weather), then yes, one could slurp up the drips, or large dollops, if there are any. One could also simply lick the little drips without making any noise.

    She slurped up the ice cream from the side of her cone, working fast to consume it before it melted in the heat.

    If the ice cream has melted at the bottom of a bowl, then I suppose one could probably "slurp" that, too (depending upon whether you consider this as impolite or not).

    Rudy, then five, slurped up the remaining puddle of melted ice cream from the bottom of his bowl.

    That being said, you do not "slurp" ice cream the same way you slurp soup from a spoon or hot coffee or tea from a cup.

    I would argue that a substance's inate ability to be "slurped" is in direct proportion to its degree of liquidity. (Of course, Asians often "slurp" their noodles, and they are not liquid at all.) ;)
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Elroy,
    On seeing the thread title, I couldn't restrain from asking myself, "Is the Pope Catholic?" GenJen has given a comprehensive explanation. I have little to add except that
    there is one additional slurping option--the bottom of a cone.

    Perhaps the famous "Ice cream socials" in your part of the galaxy do not provide sufficient auditory examples, but outside of academe, slurping is far from rare.

    Ah, yes...another example--dog lovers have been known to place a bowl where a favored pooched can enjoy a bit.
    Slurping ensues.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    cuchuflete said:
    Elroy,
    On seeing the thread title, I couldn't restrain from asking myself, "Is the Pope Catholic?" GenJen has given a comprehensive explanation. I have little to add except that
    there is one additional slurping option--the bottom of a cone.

    Perhaps the famous "Ice cream socials" in your part of the galaxy do not provide sufficient auditory examples, but outside of academe, slurping is far from rare.

    Ah, yes...another example--dog lovers have been known to place a bowl where a favored pooched can enjoy a bit.
    Slurping ensues.
    Edit: You asked when one would say slurp. Hmmm...if ever, only to ask a child to do the slurping a little more quietly, if in a restaurant.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Thanks for the answers. :)

    Apologies for the trivial question - let me explain.

    I was just trying to explain to a friend what an Arabic verb meant in English. The closest equivalent I had come up with was "to sip noisily" and to try to explain it further I made a slurping noise with my lips - whereupon my friend said, "Oh, to slurp." I paused for a few seconds ("to slurp" had not occurred to me) before agreeing that it seemed to be a satisfactory translation.

    Nevertheless, the Arabic verb is used exclusively with liquids, so I wanted to make it clear to my friend that there was not a one-to-one correspondence between the Arabic verb and "slurp" (which is probably why I had said "sip noisily" and not "slurp").

    So as an example I said, "In English, you can slurp ice cream, but in Arabic you can't use that verb with ice cream." At that, my friend insisted that you can't slurp ice cream in English.

    I was a little taken aback, but my friend is a native speaker of (American) English and I needed to get along with something, so I didn't dwell on it too much. Thinking about it later, though, I couldn't come to terms with his theory. I was fairly confident that you could in fact slurp ice cream - in exactly the types of situations that Jen described. Furthermore, as she said, you could slurp certain types of food as well - so it's not a verb used exclusively with liquids, like the Arabic verb.

    So in conclusion, I thank you for the confirmation. I will now pass along this information to my friend. He's a bright kid, so my guess is that he was thinking of ice cream in a bowl (before it melts), while the image in my mind was most definitely that of an ice cream cone, as the ice cream begins to melt.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    elroy said:
    A straightforward question:

    Can you slurp ice cream?

    If your answer is "yes," please give me a context in which you would say it.
    If your answer is "no," please explain why not.

    Thanks!
    You can slurp liquids, or very liquid foods, such as stew or soup.

    Ice-cream is supposed to be firm. So you cannot slurp ice-cream.

    However, you can slurp melting or melted ice-cream.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Yes, obviously you cannot slurp firm ice cream, no more than you can slurp a chocolate bar or a slice of pizza.
     
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