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Why are Wham-o flying discs called Frisbees?

The Answer

College students in the New York City area developed a game of throwing pie plates and tins to one another. They named this game frisbie because the pie plates had the word “Frisbie Pies” stamped on them. The pie plates were from the nearby Frisbie Baking Company.

The flying disc sold by Wham-O was originally invented by an American inventor, Walter Frederick Morrison, in 1948. He and his family had enjoyed throwing pie plates to one another at the beach, and he got the idea of making them out of plastic.

The toy-making company Wham-O Manufacturing got wind of this invention which Morrison was selling at local fairs and made a deal in 1955 to produce and sell the plastic discs under the name “Frisbee”.

The name was inspired by a game that was spreading throughout college campuses where students tossed pie plates and pans to one another, which had come to be known as Frisbie. The name “Frisbie” came from some of the early pie plates used New York area colleges that were from the Frisbie Baking Company, and stamped with the words “Frisbie Pies”. Students would often yell “Frisbie” as they let the disc fly.

It’s thought Wham-O founders heard the term ‘Frisbee’ on a tour of Ivy League schools and in June 1957 they officially renamed their products the Wham-O frisbee.

History of the Frisbee – World Flying Disc Federation

Early names for the plastic discs included “Flyin’ Saucer” and “Pluto Platters”.

“It’s a soft round airfoil with gyro action!”

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