Ilion High School Traditions

Cake Eaters

Would you say these guys look like "Ladies' Men" or "Effete Snobs?"
I vote for Ladies' Men!

Cake Eaters is a term that has been used to describe Ilion High School Students for many, many years. In our quest to discover the origin of this term, we have found at least one reference on the web. Of course, this definition is a little less offensive than another definition, that was provided by a 1966 alumnus....

The term 'cake eaters', as applied to Ilionites, was in use at least by the 1920's. It was used by non-Ilionites, in a derogatory manner, and meant 'effete snobs'.

Another possible origin is the derogatory Itaglish term - "mangia checha" which means "cake-eater." Older Italians used it to describe Americans unfamiliar with the Italian ways.

Another possible origin suggests affluence. - Cake Eaters are people from or in a comfortable and affluent background.This phrase originated from the old times, when normal people ate bread and rich people ate cake. Many only-child’s in China today are cake eaters.

Take your pick, or if anyone else out there has a better explanation, please share it with us. Bombers have clearly embraced and liked the term as is evident by the title given to the Jerry Walsh Memorial Golf Tournament.

Jerry Walsh was a 1966 graduate of Ilion High School. He passed away on August 13, 2008 after a 15 month battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). His family holds a golf tournament in his memory to benefit ALS of Utica for patient/family care and national research. Jerry's family invites all Ilion alumni to participate in the Annual Cakeeater Classic Golf Tournament. For more information please call Carol Walsh at 894-9115 or email or visit our website at

back page

Created and maintained by Aileen Carney Sweeney - Class of 1974

Digital Image Copyright & Copyright © 1997 - 2014
Modified Oct 12, 2014