Mrs. Butterworth Has a First Name, It's . . .

Mrs. Butterworth Has a First Name, It's . . .

Food & Drink

Mrs. Butterworth Has a First Name, It's . . .


Mrs. Butterworth has finally joined the era of informality. You can now call her “Joy.”

Yep, Pinnacle Foods Group LLC held a “First Name” contest in which contestants had to correctly guess the first name, which was apparently assigned by her corporate parents 40 years ago. Shayla Doty, 15, of Logansport, IN and Cynthia Harmon, 44, of Champaign, IL guessed right and will each receive $500 and a years supply of Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup.

Officials say that after so many questions about her name, a contest was launched, with more than 8,000 entries received. Along with the announcement came a story:

The story behind Mrs. Butterworth’s name began as many naming stories do – with the common husband and wife debate over naming their newborn. The father-to-be, Mr. Butterworth, was in favor of the name Yvonne, while the mother-to-be felt she was more deserving of a name that would remind them of what a precious jewel she would be – Opal. Having not settled on a decision the day their giggling baby girl arrived, the doctor suggested “Jocelyn,” meaning “the merry one.” A light bulb lit above Daddy Butterworth’s head, and he suggested combining the first letter from all three names, J-O-Y. Little did they know that years later, ‘joy’ was exactly what their daughter and her delicious syrup would bring to children at their breakfast tables.

Growing up, Mrs. Butterworth was teased by classmates who called her “Joy Buzzerworth” in reference to a popular practical joke item called a joy buzzer that shocked people when they shook hands. When Mrs. Butterworth’s introduced her syrup to the world, she didn’t want anybody to think about Joy Buzzers, and just wanted them to love her thick and rich and buttery syrup- and so she decided to leave out her first name.

With her recent return to television ads, Mrs. Butterworth is now proclaimed as a “confident and successful businesswoman . . . no longer worried about the ridicule associated with her ‘Joy Buzzerworth’ nickname.”

The winning entries are posted on


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