soda. pop. snap.

The other day, and I kid you not, I saw someone say to someone else “would you like a soda” and the person stared back and said “why would I want a soda” and a third party repeated the question, only saying “would you like a pop” and the person said “yes, very much, thank you.”

I grew up in Soda Country, where 80 to 90 percent of the time people used the word soda. Now, I live in Pop Country where 80 – 100 percent of the time people call soda pop. For a while, I lived in the Soda Enclave along the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, where soda is commonly used but there is enough nearby pop that people are cautious.

There is a website that deals with the Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy. Here. I love the rollover interactive map, but this graphic here is the cold hard reality.

I’d love to see one for frying pan vs. skillet.

Comments

  1. #1 NewEnglandBob
    November 30, 2011

    I no longer touch the stuff, under any name. My preference is unsweetened iced tea or water. (Now Arizona makes Decaffeinated Green tea with ginger).

  2. #2 ppb
    November 30, 2011

    Massachusetts has to be different of course. The locals call it tonic.

  3. #3 MacCruiskeen
    November 30, 2011

    According to the Dictionary of American Regional English, “Frying Pan” is “widespread, except West Midlands” (meaning roughly the center of the country, west of the Mississippi). Skillet is also recorded as “widespread, but more frequent in Midlands, Gulf States, and Texas.” Which is to say, both terms are used just about everywhere, but in the south and southern “midwest” areas, skillet is more commonly used. There are also the variants frypan, fryer, and spider. There are maps, but not online.

  4. #4 cfeagans
    November 30, 2011

    In Texas they just call it coke. No kidding.

    I moved here when I was in High School and remember very clearly a time when a few of my classmates were about to go out to agriculture lass (just called “ag” here) that was being held off-campus and everyone agreed to “stop at the store for a coke” first. No one but me actually bought Coca Cola. Everyone else had Dr. Pepper. So I asked, “I thought you were going to get a Coke?” My classmate replied, “I did. I got a Dr. Pepper coke.”

    Dinner is also lunch.

  5. #5 Jim Thomerson
    November 30, 2011

    In Venezuela it is a refresca, in Colombia a gasioso.

  6. #6 GrayGaffer
    November 30, 2011

    I must be getting old. In my day it was called “Soda Pop”.

  7. #7 MadScientist
    November 30, 2011

    That’s funny, I grew up with “soda pop” so I know what a soda is and what a pop is. “Soda” is actually *wrong* because that’s just the fizzy water with no sugar or flavoring – just ask anyone who knows what the hell a soda spritzer is. “Soda” also has a number of other uses, some of which are now historical curiosities.

  8. #8 Jamie
    November 30, 2011

    In Australia it’s called “soft drink”. Soda Pop is just a character from The Outsiders ;-)

  9. #9 Karen
    November 30, 2011

    My parents, who were from Minnesota and Wisconsin, always called it “pop”. Growing up in California, I always called it “soda”.

    My husband gets VERY put out by the concept of calling something a “coke” that isn’t Coca-Cola. As far as he’s concerned, the only drinkable fizzy drinks are a few brands of root beer and Coca-Cola Classic. Period. And the stuff I bring into the house which has *gasp!* aspartame in it, should be outlawed, to his mind. Totally undrinkable.

  10. #10 German Santanilla
    December 1, 2011

    @5, Jim Thomerson: The speling is ‘gaseosa,’ a carbonated (gas-infused, literally)drink. I cannot for the life of me remember what the popular names are in Ecuadoer or Peru. Or Brazil.

  11. #11 Gerry L
    December 1, 2011

    PPB @2: Actually, ‘tonic’ is not used thorughout Massachusetts but primarily in the Boston area. I grew up in Pop Country (Michigan) and whenever we visited family in Boston, we had to play the usual word games (“Would you like some tonic”? “Why? I’m not sick.” or “Where’s the pop?” “He’s standing right over there.”)

    I don’t drink carbonated beverages, but they are all pop to me.

  12. #12 John
    December 2, 2011

    There was an episode of Doctor Who in which the whimsical Tom Baker carried a bottle of ginger ale in one of his deep coat pockets. Just as he would do with jelly babies, he sometimes would offer to share…holding out the bottle: “Ginger pop?”

  13. #13 Veronica Abbass
    December 11, 2011

    In Canada, everyone uses the word “pop”; a soda is something different: http://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/ice-cream-soda-science/