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Map of the U.S. showing what people call soda/pop/coke

September 10, 2010 | By Abraham | 46 comments

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46 Comments

    1. AStev says:

      As I recall, this study was voluntary. Consequently, results should definitely be taken with a grain of salt, as rural counties probably had very few (if any) voluntary respondents, so the margin of error is much higher.

  1. Amber says:

    LOL this is hilarious. I’m in linguistic grad school and we made a similar map (though not as extensive) based on information gathered from students from all over the US. Matched up rather nicely, I might say. :)

  2. Martina says:

    So I’m guessing by quick glance that soda wins population-wise. Interesting that coke was most popular in the south. Living in Nashville I rarely hear anyone say coke (unless they’re ordering coca-cola). Most people say soda. Of course, Nashville is a city where people are from all over the country: especially California and Texas and Pennsylvania, it seems.

  3. Laura says:

    Love it! Not surprised to see that “Coke” took my county. I say “soda” a lot, but that is because I’m trying to sound pretentious. Would like to see a list of the most popular “other”s.

  4. Denita says:

    I’ve grown up all my life in Texas, and I just call a drink by its name. If I want a Dr. Pepper (my preferred poison) I ask for one, if all they have is Coke then Coke it is, if all they have is root beer, that’s what it’s called. Now I have to say I’m an odd bird: my Dad is Texan but my Mom is from Missouri, so I’m a linguistic hybrid. I have West Texas friends who ask mewhar flavor cole i want… LOL.

    1. jmo says:

      Stephan,

      2 out of 14,000 is nowhere near a representative sample.
      That being said I think we were the only county in California where Ross Perot won.

      J

    1. Andrew N. says:

      I actually live in St. Louis, and yeah… we’re weird. I think most people here are ashamed to live in Missouri because the rest of the country thinks we’re all rednecks. So we say soda because it’s more refined.

      I live outside city limits and am a redneck, but I still call it soda.

        1. KBL says:

          Yup, in the ‘old’ days (long before my time) in the South on occasion sodas were called “dope”. Maybe it had to do with the fact that Coke/Pepsi actually had opiates in them originally.

          I remember calling it “coke” & soft drinks, later sodas. But my mom was from New England (by way of Ohio) & my dad was from Western North Carolina. I grew up in the Capital, Raleigh.

  5. KP says:

    I wonder which 2 Canadians were fishing on the American side and messed up the survey in Lake of the Woods county.

    Kidding, kidding, eh?

  6. kirsty says:

    Here in Scotland, we would call them ‘Fizzy Drinks’ or ‘Fizzy Juice’. Or, in a broad Glasgow accent, ‘Ginger’.

    I did see a supermarket sign labelled ‘Bottled Carbonates’ once.

  7. JoeS says:

    Coke is to soft drinks what Kleenex is to facial tissue; brand names that have become representative of a whole category of products. I blame Atlanta for infecting the whole south.

    I have lived in “Pop” country my whole life but have started calling it “soda” for no real reason over the last couple years.

  8. Melanie says:

    I knew before I looked closely that my area (the birthplace of Coca-cola) would be 100% Coke. I commonly say, “Would you like some coke? I have Sprite, Dr. Pepper, and Mountain Dew.”
    One of the many reasons I love the South.

  9. John says:

    My family has lived in the deep South “forever”, meaning that I have never had a sibling, parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, and so on that lived for a meaningful amount of time north of the Mason-Dixon. I have NEVER heard of anyone with even a modicum of education refer generically to all soft drinks as “Coke”. That is simply a silly notion. If I went to a snack bar and wanted to order a Mountain Dew, for instance, what do you think I would ask for at the counter? Or if someone had a selection of soft drinks in their refrigerator (Dr. Pepper, Fanta Orange, and Sprite, let’s say), it would be completely absurd for me to tell some company “I’ve got some Cokes. Would you like one?”

    This is one of those myths that gets perpetuated and I have absolutely no clue how.

  10. Nyperold says:

    Interesting. I’m in a county where “soda” is the majority term, surrounded by “Coke” counties. Makes sense, as I’ve only ever heard *of* people using “Coke” to refer to any soda, and never experienced it myself.

    Now we need one for “what dinner means” if there isn’t already. ;)

  11. Andy says:

    I lived in a border area for awhile, where people were loyal to either pop or soda, and honestly, they were also ridiculously rude about it as well, as though they knew without a doubt that the term they used was clearly the only correct term for a “soft drink.” You can’t just tell people your term is right because you say it is. This is a situation where nobody is right or wrong, and that’s ok, because it doesn’t matter, we’re just talking about names for drink. We use a certain term based on where we were born and what term we heard growing up, we did not just happen to choose to use the correct one. As long as people know what you’re talking about, any of these terms are fine. Coke does pose a threat to that theory, however, as it has the potential to lead to confusion. Other products that have come to be named after a brand, such as Kleenex or Q-Tips do not have the variables that a carbonated beverage can have. If you ask for a Q-Tip, and receive a Johnson & Johnson brand product, it is still basically the same thing. The quality may vary, but the item is ultimately more or less the same thing. If you ask for a coke and someone gives you a Sprite and you really wanted a Coca Cola, there is a massive difference. There is a need for clarification that goes along with usage of the term coke, that is not a problem with any of the other terms. With that said, if you live in a coke dominant area, you obviously dont’ want to start using soda, or you may alienate yourself and confuse others.

  12. Yan says:

    I live in pop country but I say soda. If I’m talking to certain people I sometimes involuntarily say pop. I don’t understand the whole “calling all soft drinks coke” thing, it sort of annoys me. But there is one thing I’m sure most of us can agree on; people who call soft drinks tonic are strange.

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