Soft drink terminology wars – pop vs. soda vs. coke


Below is a fascinating map that is being continually updated. It geographically depicts those parts of the nation that prefer to refer to soft drinks as “pop” or “soda,” or “coke.” You can participate in this study using this weblink. Even though the maps on the webpage are older (the one below is more recent), here’s another weblink that shows the numerical statistics as updated through today for both the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

What I find particularly interesting are the islands of soda amid a sea of pop found in the St. Louis area and Eastern Wisconsin. The term “coke” makes sense in the south since Coca-Cola is in Atlanta, but does not explain to me why “cola” is not also regularly used since Royal Crown (RC) Cola came from Columbus, Georgia. Two other terms I have heard now and then are “Nehi” and “ginger ale.” The survey does permit you to enter alternative terms. The data are based on the term most used where you were raised, not where you live today.

This is fun and fascinating stuff for statistical and geographical geeks like me. Perhaps Miller Lite should have done a “tastes great” versus “less filling” survey. Enjoy!

This entry was posted in advertising, Canada, civics, Cuisine, culture, diversity, education, food systems, fun, geography, Statistics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Soft drink terminology wars – pop vs. soda vs. coke

  1. usecraigslist says:

    As an ex-East Coaster living in Michigan, I still cannot bring myself to refer to soda as “pop.” I’ve compromised by referring to it as “soda pop,” which people appear to find unoffensive and pleasantly old-fashioned.


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