What do you call those liquid-filled glass things that “snow” when shaken?

Dear Cecil:

I'm sure you've seen those clear plastic glass containers filled with a liquid and tiny flakes of "snow" or some other material. When you turn or shake them, you create a "snowstorm" inside. My question is, what do you call these things? I feel so inadequate when I'm trying to describe that scene in Citizen Kane.

Cecil replies:

Get ready for this, Lar. You call them “shake-’em-ups.” You were expecting maybe rhombicosidodecahedron?

No, but they weren’t expecting “shake-’em-ups,” either

Dear Cecil:

Re: “shake-’em-ups.” I have over 200 of these things, and I can authoritatively say their name is “snowdomes.” I call them “snow.” No flea marketer would know definitively what a “shake-’em-up” was.

Dear Cecil:

I have subjected countless people to this same question. To this day one friend insists they are called “waterballs.” However, based on my extensive data, the correct term is “snowglobes.”

Dear Cecil:

They’re called “waterglobes.”

Cecil replies:

Great. Till you guys get your act together, I’m sticking with “shake-’em-ups.”

More nominees

Dear Cecil:

Those shake-ups are called “snowglobes.”

Dear Cecil:

They are called “snow storms”!

Cecil replies:

So far “snowglobes” is leading with four votes, with the other four entries (not counting “shake-em-ups”) having one apiece. Whatsamatter, nobody wants to nominate “Rosebud”?

It ain’t over yet

Dear Cecil:

Those snow-filled things are called “snowies,” of course.

AARRRRGGGHHHH!!!

Send questions to Cecil via cecil@straightdope.com.

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