Pop vs Soda

I like to have meaningful conversations at the dinner table—we are usually all together for the meal—but often I have little control over where the conversation ends up. Tonight we got back to the “pop” versus “soda” discussion that we have fruitlessly gotten into many times before. Shirley and I both grew up drinking “pop,” but our children were all born and spent a good chunk of their young lives in St. Louis, where people drink “soda.”

Here is a map showing the distribution of the use of “pop” and “soda” across the United States. Note that the St. Louis area is an isolated island of soda drinkers.

What I really don’t get is all those southerners who use the word “Coke” to cover everything from cola to lemon lime to root beer. If I ask for a “Coke,” I mean “Coke,” not ginger ale!

For an enlarged view, click on the map.

pop-soda.gif

Here in Romania, you can order pop for the family at McDonalds or KFC, and when they give them to you they often say “here are your juices.” I never think of pop as juice, but it does make it sound more nutritious!

Grace and Peace

4 thoughts on “Pop vs Soda

  1. Kyralessa

    I always felt odd over there ordering a “suc” when I meant a soda. But then, that’s nothing compared to the word for computer: “calculator”. :)

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  2. Pingback: Third anniversary of The GeoChristian « The GeoChristian

  3. Carol

    I can’t believe I missed this post. I’ve always said “/pop/” is a really funny way to pronounce “S-O-D-A.” But then, I’m from that olive-brownish area in eastern Pennsylvania where 80-100% of folks use “soda” and would make fun of my Pittsburgh cousins who said “pop.”

    I was watching a Food Channel show last week that claimed the term “pop” was invented by the Faygo beverage company, based in Detroit, and was a description of the sound the bottle made as you opened it.
    (See http://www.faygo.com/, History tab, under 1910.)

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