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Why DaffyDownDilly?

Our home town - Sidmouth town and sea taken from the top of Peak Hill and featuring our theme flower, the Daffodil


What on earth has the name DaffyDownDilly got to do with a Sidmouth High Street confectioners and on-line sweet shop?

Well, it’s the name we chose for our business and we chose it for a very good reason. But why DaffyDownDilly? Any guesses?

I can tell you for starters that the name has nothing at all to do with Daffy Duck, the famous Looney Toons cartoon character. Unfortunately it hasn’t any connection either to Daffy’s Gin, the copper pot distilled Scottish Gin! Nor is it derived from a dictionary definition of the word “daffy”, which is “slightly eccentric” . And we really do wish to distance ourselves from the Urban Dictionary definition of  “daffy” as “Crazy. Madly deranged and completely nuts. Foolish; stupid or mentally imbalanced. Common British slang for daft”!

Having said all that, having recently seen customers in our confectionery shop being served by zombie lookalikes, you could be excused for thinking there might be such a connection!


DaffyDownDilly (also daffydill) were terms used to mean a dandy in the mid-19th century. And although I sometimes do feel rather dandyish when wearing my best sports jacket it was not the reason used to name our shop.

According to The Oxford English Dictionary, “daffadowndilly” and “daffydowndilly” have also been popular terms for “daffodil”, the flower, since the 1500s. And now we’re getting close, so I’d better put you out of your misery!

The name comes from the old nursery rhyme:


has come to town

In a yellow petticoat

and a green gown.”

daffodils arriving

This nursery rhyme refers to the arrival of daffodils in Spring, and we were inspired to use the name by the tremendously valuable work being undertaken by The Sid Vale Association. Who administer The Keith Owen Fund (SVA) funding and motivating so many local organisations and individuals to plant hundreds of thousands of daffodils in the Sid Valley and Sidmouth area of Devon. Where the pilot shop for our Daffy-down-dilly sweet shop franchise was opened in April 2014.


Keith Owen was a retired Canadian RAF officer and investment banker who settled in Sidmouth. He loved the area and bequeathed a large sum of money to be used to sustain the ambient way of life recognised in Sidmouth. He said, “Think big! Plant a million bulbs!” One of The Sid Valley Association’s aims is to fulfil that challenge, and a fabulous job they are doing too.

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DaffyDownDilly is an old fashioned name that also reflects our ethos of providing good, old fashioned service values. So that visiting our sweet shop to buy your sweets, treats or gifts or even buying candy from us through our online sweet shop, is a really pleasant experience that will encourage you to return.

Natalie Brittain and Lucy Coles March 15 low res

If you haven’t yet visited our shop in Sidmouth, you are encouraged to do so. It really is in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, and if you come when the daffodils are in flower you will never forget the sight!

DDD Shop July 2015

You will also be amazed with the selection of traditional sweets, retro sweetsAmerican candy, sugar free sweets and confectionery gifts we have available for you to choose from in our friendly, bright and cheerful shop in the High Street.