Saturday, July 12, 2008


In my recent post, A Waste of Money-sota, Sarah (the infamous no-show from my Driving Sideways book giveaway contest) left this controversial comment:

Jeff i have a question for you. i visited MN recently and got into a discussion on pop vs. soda and was wondering what do you refer to the carbonated beverage as?

my points of the discussion are as follows:
- Pop is what you call your dad
- You pop a balloon
-(my favorite) "POP" is what the weasel does!

Thanks for your two cents

p.s. i still haven't received the book

To which I replied:

sarah - We call it pop here. Always have and always will. It states that in the membership package. Love your analysis though!

I decided to teach you a lesson about taking too long to check on your contest and I withheld the book from you. Either that or I misplaced it and only just found it the other day.

Oh yeah, it was the 2nd thing ;-)

Anyway, I mailed it on Thursday so you should get it any day now.

As far as I'm aware, "pop" and "soda" are the two most commonly used terms for this beverage, but once when I was in Texas I had a waitress ask me what kind of Coke I wanted.

Her: Would you like a Coke sweetheart?
Me: Sure.
Her: What kind would you like darlin?
Me: Just regular is fine.
Her: Regular what dear... cola, 7-UP, Mountain Dew? What kind of Coke do you want?
Me: ???

And another time when I was on the east coast, I decided to not show my true Midwest colors and wisely asked the bartender for a soda, thinking that was supposed to be the term of choice. But before I could indicate what kind of soda I wanted, he promptly filled up a glass with carbonated seltzer water and handed it to me. Bleh!

So this brings up the very same important question for all of you.

What do they call "pop" where you live?
__ Pop
__ Soda
__ Soft drink
__ Other (please state)

* * * * *

Hey, go ahead and pop on over to the funniest blog going!


Anette said...

I don't know if it counts since it's in a different language:
but in Norway we call it: "brus"

Dave2 said...

Here in Washington, it's almost always "pop"... but my father (having been transplanted from California, where it's "soda") says "soda pop."

This is a very cool map mash-up:

Mom Thumb said...

Same as in Texas.

"Want a coke?"
"What kind?"
"Diet Dr. Pepper."

Anonymous said...

People actually call soda/pop 'coke'?? That's funny! LOL! But I guess it's no different to calling a vacuum cleaner a 'hoover' or a ball-point pen a 'biro'.

Here those carbonated drinks don't really seem to have a generic name any more, apart from maybe 'fizzy drink'. Either that or I'm waaay out of touch. I don't drink the stuff - it's all too sweet for me.

Elizabeth said...

When I first moved up to Alaska I decided I was going to be all sophisticated and use the word soda instead of pop (yes I was that big a hick that I though "soda" was sophisticated). But it just didn't sound natural, so now I use the word pop.
:) Elizabeth

Heather said...

I thought that was hilarious that they call it all Coke in the South too.

Just to irritate fellow Minnesotans, I used to ask for a soda at restaurants. The wait staff always corrected me "pop".

Anonymous said...

Pepsi is self explainatory. How could I drink anything but? They have donated over 200,000 drinks to the Knights for our Shriner Childrens Hospital fundraiser over the last eleven years! Thank you Pepsi.

Alice said...

I guess I just ask for whatever I want specifically.

Sometimes will throw out soda or Coke, but never Pop.

Sorry Jeff.

Whit said...

My grandparents are from the south and call them all coke. I call it beer.

Anonymous said...

I grew up calling it soda, but now I say soda pop. It drives me NUTS when people call it pop. Like when people say ice CREAM instead of ICE cream. Brad grew up in Iowa mostly and has some strange inflections. Example: he says eh-vrih-thin' instead of eh-vree-thing. And he calls beer barley pop.

Roger Miller said...

Being an Air Force brat, I have lived on both coasts, and then while I was in the Air Force myself, I went to Europe.

So what's the big deal right?

No big deal, just that throughout my travels, I have learned to just ask for what I want (i.e. Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Diet Coke), as it saves on the confusion. :)

Of course now that I have lived in the Chicago area, I find myself using Pop way more.

When in Rome...

Michelle said...

In Chicago, it's pop. But my husband is from southern IL near STL and grew up calling it soda. I've successfully converted him to pop, however.

When I lived in CT, it was soda pop.

And yeah... that Coke thing is weird. They do the same thing in Atlanta!

JD at I Do Things said...

It's pop here in Chicago, as Michelle has already pointed out.

I remember my horror when, visiting relatives in Springfield, IL, I heard them refer to it as "sody pop." These were RELATIVES! OF MINE!

That's interesting about "Coke" being generic for "pop." But Coke is Coke. It might be RC or even Dr. Pepper, but never 7-up or Orange Crush!

JD at I Do Things

Idaho Dad said...

I grew up in Southern California, and it was always "Coke" for everything. Then I moved to Idaho in the 80's and learned quickly to call it "pop."

Susan said...

It was pop in Pittsburgh where I grew up, but on the other side of the state it's soda. I'm not sure where the dividing line is, though. Next time I drive to Pittsburgh I'll have to stop about halfway and check.

MYM said...

We call it all of those, we even have a Pop Shoppe ... with is a shop that sells pop. All flavours.

Windyridge said...

Soda. They'd look at you sideways here if you said pop..then run you outta town!

Ed (zoesdad) said...

I grew up in Louisiana. My favorite coke is Dr. Pepper.

It's coke--across the board.

Anonymous said...

I've called it all three, but (even though I'm in Texas) it's been soda to me for about 25 years.

My in-laws called it "a cold drink," but these are the same people who keep the drinks in the icebox.

yellojkt said...

You totally have to check out this map.

bon bon said...

a coke can only be a coke, but any tissue can be a kleenex... ;o)

my ex-husband always called the living room the front room, the refrigerator, an icebox, and he didn't beep or honk the car horn, but "bomp" it. this explains why we're divorced, right?

damon said...

Here in Florida, it's a soda.

Along those same lines, in NY you order a pie. In Fla. you have to say 'pizza' or they don't know what you're talking about.

Doozie said...

they mostly call it pop, but I chose to call it "cold soda" just cause i'm different

yoo hoo said...

Where I grew up it was, "let's go to town for a Pepsi" where we would end up at the drive-in and order a lime slush. huh? yeah me too!

Anonymous said...

Here in Washington (DC,the east coast variety) I ask for a cola if I don't yet know what brands the restaurant serves

Anonymous said...

if it's anything its pop or fizzy drink in England. You'd be surprised if you ordered a lemonade over here though. You'd get sprite.

Jess Riley said...

I call it soda, and I'm just one state to the east. But do you call it a 'bubbler' or a 'water fountain?'

A 'tyme machine' or an 'ATM?'

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Hey folks... been gone all weekend so I haven't had time to respond, plus I'll be busy all day today so I'll have to catch y'all next time. But thanks for all the great answers!

Jess - A "bubbler" is the thing you put in a fish tank, not a drinking fountain, and I've never heard an ATM called a "tyme machine."

Gen said...

I live in WA state, and I have midwest roots. It's pop around here.

Sarah said...

yellojkt, i think i am print that and post it on my dorm room door! It'll save a lot of explaining!

BUBBLER! that was another debate. It has something to do with a company that made drinking fountains and the brand name only caught on in wisconsin.

The ATM vs Tyme Machine:
I've heard both. I say ATM, so do my parents, but my other relatives say Tyme. I think they're in the minority.

Thanks Jeff for helping me find the answer. I'll let you know when the book arrives.

Sornie said...

I am all about calling it soda. It seems less rube-ish than calling it pop. Pop sounds sorta childish to me but tmaybe that's jsut me trying to procure my spot as an elitist snob.

United Studies said...

Here in Northern Virginia they are very is either Coke or Pepsi. No soda or pop.

Ed said...

Hey, I never got in on this one...

We call 'pop' an "accidental" death...

Mrs. R said...

I'm from Los Angeles and there the word is soda.

I still refer to it as soda. I refuse to give in to your Minnesotan ways.

April said...

In L.A., they call it "soda." But it's said kind of like you'd say "heroine." Everyone here is drinking the VitaWater these days.

Roger Miller said...

Blasting from the past, but I KNEW that you had written about this... so here is you answer!