Toot Sweets

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"Toot Sweets" is a song from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the 1968 musical motion picture. In the film it is sung by Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes. "Toot Sweets" is also featured prominently in the multi-award winning stage musical of the same name which premiered in London at the Palladium in 2002 and on Broadway in 2005 at the newly refurbished Foxwoods Theatre (then the Hilton Theatre). The song was written by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman (also known as the Sherman Brothers).

The song title is a play on words, a humorous Anglicisation of the French expression "tout de suite", meaning "at once" or "right away". During WWI British soldiers serving in France, most of whom could not speak French, adopted the phrase as "toot sweet" to mean "hurry up" or "look smart". [1][2] In the context of the film and stage musical, "Toot Sweets" is about a piece of confectionery ("sweet" being the British term for confectionery) invented by the main character, Caractacus Potts, that has holes in it, making the sweet playable as an edible whistle. Unfortunately for Potts, the toot sweets act like dog whistles, calling all the local canines into the sweet factory, ruining the sanitary conditions of the factory and turning love interest Truly's father against him.

Other meanings[edit]

In the late 1960s, Mattel sold a toy called "Toot Sweets". It was a device that molded Tootsie Rolls into whistles.[3]

"Tootsweet" was an artificial sweetener made from sewage sludge in a 1991 video game titled "The Adventures of Willy Beamish". The game was created by Dynamix and published by Sierra On-line.

External sources[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Martin, Gary. "The meaning and origin of the expression: Tout de suite". The Phrase Finder. Gary Martin. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Sanders, Jack (2 October 1992). "Toot seet". The Mavens' word of the day. Random House LLC. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Mattel’s Tastitoy Tootsweet Candy Whistle Maker". The Retroist. Retrieved 7 March 2014.