This is leftover Halloween business.
We stumbled upon a philosophical question Halloween night after the kids had dumped their monstrous bags of candy on the floor and were sorting the hordes into categorized piles (i.e., "how many Snickers do you have?" "I don't know, but I have 8 Butterfingers," etc).
My youngest son (he's 10) had separated his suckers/lollipops into two piles and we asked him why. He said one pile was suckers and one pile was lollipops. So we asked him how he defined the two. He said suckers are the round blobs of hard candy stuck on the end of a stick, and lollipops are the flat blobs of hard candy stuck on the end of a stick.
My husband and I were amused that he'd even made a distinction. As far as I'm concerned, they're all the same. So, today I spent some time researching lollipops and suckers (yes, I do have a life, but this was moderately interesting, so I wanted to resolve it!)
I discovered that technically speaking, the official term for any blob of hard candy on the end of a stick is lollipop, and that sucker is a synonym and/or dialectic reference to a lollipop which apparently originated in about 1907. I did find an interesting discussion about the subject on Ask.com which generally seemed to support my son's assertion of the difference between the two, but that's not necessarily a reliable source - more like a poll.
So, I'll tell my son what I discovered when he gets home from school, but I'm sure it won't change the way he defines his candy. He was pretty adamant about it. Let me assure you, if anyone knows about candy, it's a kid and you never want to get between a kid and his candy.
How do you define a blob of hard candy on the end of a stick?