Those of you who are outside of New England might not know what "jimmies" are, but they're the little chocolate bits that people like to put on ice cream. Some places they're called sprinkles, and in the UK I've heard they call them chocolate vermicelli. Personally, I never cared for them (just another one of my little eccentricities).
I learned something new the other day from a Boston talk radio show. There is a growing myth out there that the term "jimmies" is racist; that it somehow comes from the Jim Crow era of segregation. There's absolutely no factual evidence to even suggest this is the case, yet some people have taken the claim seriously, and a new war of local vernacular is brewing.
The most widely accepted origin of the word is that a guy called Jimmy, who worked in a chocolate factory, took chocolate shavings home with him and started selling them for use on ice cream. Again, there's no concrete proof of it, but it seems a lot more likely than the little chocolate bits being named after people with dark skin or something of that nature.
There is a growing movement in America to classify anything that's brown or black as being racist, and I'm really sick of it. You can be sued for using the term "black hole" in a courtroom, and don't you dare mention the word niggardly! Oh, how far we've swung from the days of white oppression. Now we have to be so politically correct that soon there won't be a language to speak of.
So, would you like some jimmies on that ice cream cone?