It was just mentioned in one of NPR word games as one of the choices that might be a word. The contestant, after some hesitation, picked this as one that is an actual meaning: Mandles is "candles for men"

But I googled it and found many uses.

In The Sting Man: Inside Abscam by Robert W. Greene it characterizes something one would put in soup:

I guess chicken soup with mandles is his favorite dish; he makes it himself for us.

In The MageStaff by Rob McShane it is used for something that might be candles:

The gurbs in the ground, the mandles in the trees and bushes and all the other myriad of life that should have teemed around them.

In Animal Biography, Or, Authentic Anecdotes of the Lives, Manners ..., Volume 3 it is used in relation to animals:

Their mandles are thick and horny, and the tail is articulated, and not (as in the Scorpion) armed.

Then it is used as a variant of "sandals" in somethijng that might be an LGBT slang Queer Popular Culture: Literature, Media, Film, and Television edited by Thomas Peel:

“Is it her hair? Is it her jog bra? Is it her mandles [a slang, masculine rendering of sandals]?”

It is also something that is sold by a dozen Publications, Issue 30 By Spalding Club, Aberdeen:

6 dozen liveray mandles at ...

There is also something in medicine that is called "mandles paint".


2 Answers 2


The OED gives it as an archaic form of "mandil," "mantel" and "mantle." Mandil is obsolete; the other two are in current use. http://findwords.info/term/mandle

"Mandel" is German for "an almond nut", which might explain the "mandles in the trees" and also "a tonsil" which seems less plausible for your animal reference. Maybe "mandibles" is the modern word there. http://dictionary.reverso.net/german-english/Mandel%20%5BNuss%20mit%20Schale%5D

"Mandl's paint" was a treatment for tonsillitis. http://drpaulose.com/general/587

For "Mandlen" and chicken soup, see http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/mandlen

The "liveray mandles" ("livery", i.e. part of a uniform?} sold by the dozen are presumably "mantles" of some kind.

  • "Mandel" is also used in Norway (Norwegian), both for almond and tonsil. I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was used in Sweden and Denmark too... Aug 30, 2015 at 2:26
  • I always thought mandles were the things of fat on the sides of really big guys. That's what cousin Dave calls his mandles anyway. Then again, I probably shouldn't take grammar advice from cousin Dave...
    – corsiKa
    Aug 30, 2015 at 5:52
  • @corsiKa I've heard these being called "love handles", for reasons too graphic to elaborate. And guys don't need to be "really big" to have them, just slightly padded.
    – Jos
    Aug 30, 2015 at 9:45

In reference to your first block quote, about "soup mandles", here is a pertinent article from Wikipedia:

Shkedei marak (Hebrew: שקדי מרק‎, literally soup almonds), known as mandlach in Yiddish, or as "soup mandels" in the United States, is an Israeli food product consisting of crisp mini croutons used as a soup accompaniment. Shkedei marak are small yellow squares made from flour and palm oil. As a parve product, they can be used in either meat or cream soups. Despite the name, they contain no almonds.

Although it is a reference to an item of traditional Ashkenazi Jewish cooking, and as such, is fairly obscure, it is based on a Yiddish word meaning almond, and most likely refers to the item's shape.

It is a real word, as opposed to the "man-candles" concept.

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