A generic term for a concoction involving ice cream floating in some sort of liquid refreshment. The most common variant is a root beer float, but there are many things that can bes used for a tasty treat. Coca-Cola, Vernors (or another brand of ginger ale), lemonade (the sweeter mix kind, not one with real lemon juice in it), and orange soda all work well.

First, take yourself a frozen glass or mug. A warm one works also, but does not have quite as good of an effect.

Then, you can do it in one of two ways. Add the ice cream to the glass first, then pour the beverage over it. This melts the ice cream and gives a foamy texture really quickly.

Or you can add the ice cream to the top after adding the beverage. The ice cream melts more slowly, taking longer to create the milky liquid that is left over, diluting the drink less and giving you more ice cream to eat.

And oddly, as I found out with adoxograph and sarcasmo, there is the occasional place that makes one by adding carbonated water to the glass and giving you a glass of your beverage on the side. Very, very odd. Apparently not good to drink the water used.

It was also a term we used back when I was a bagger at Meijer. When you were told to go "float", it meant to go around helping other baggers collect shopping carts out in the parking lot, but that you weren't assigned to any specific area of the lot - you were to help whoever needed it the most.