Pop Versus Soda

Admitted, being born in New Jersey and growing up mostly in California, I find the idea of not having access to a coast stifling. I think some exceptions may apply to Chicago and Detroit because they are near the Great Lakes. The first time I ever heard someone call their carbonated soft drink pop was when I moved in with my grad school roommate in 2004. She, like my husband, was from Michigan. I contributed this quirkiness to them both being from an innerstate. While the Great Lakes are really big, they still aren’t oceans.

You can see the map of generic usage for carbonated soft drinks:
Pop Versus Soda
I have a bias against those who would call any carbonated drink coke. Don’t ever call my Sprite a Coke!! The main exception to that would be my grandma, who was originally from Georgia. Nobody steps on grandma Sara’s toes.

You can participate in the ongoing study here.

8 thoughts on “Pop Versus Soda

  1. i love this. being a st. louis native we say soda, but moving to kansas city for college they pop. it drove me crazy! that and the fact that they say “sack” instead of “bag”.

    i wonder why st. louis sorta stands out in the middle of the midwest?


  2. My husband is also from the Midwest and calls soda “pop”. I thought it was odd until I moved to the Midwest with him and everyone was calling soda “pop”. I think I’ve been here too long because now I find myself saying pop a lot.


  3. I’m in Kansas City and we say pop. I remember going down to Atlanta when I was a teen and getting looked at funny when I requested pop.


  4. Funny! My dad’s from LA so we grew up calling it ‘soda’. But everyone around us calls it ‘pop’. We have the same issues with ‘trash’ and ‘garbage’. People think my family is wierd but I know the truth 🙂


  5. I have to agree Coke is definitely not Sprite. If it was a Coke it was a Coke and so on.

    Speaking on the topic of sodas, I’m still wondering what ever happened to do Double Colas? If you thought that Cokes were some of the strongest sodas, Double Cola’s would have knocked you off of your feet. That is not a total exaggeration.

    Man, I have never had colas that strong to their point where I couldn’t drink past the middle of the bottle( As a matter of factly, my mom wouldn’t let us drink a lot of it because it was just that strong). I never recalled them being sold in the metro ATL area, but they sold a lot of it in Southwestern Georgia and some parts of Alabama. Now I no longer see them.


  6. My husband and I are both coastal people (sf and casa). We drove from New York to Oregon one summer–long, but beautiful drive! He didn’t believe me when we pulled up to the lake in Chicago and I said “no this is only a lake and we are only half way there.” He really thought I was joking or typically American geographically dumb–that’s a big lake! At least he calls soda “soda.” Now I’m going to have to listen for what he calls the trash…


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