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Jun 21, 2008 07:58 AM

Soda vs. Pop redux (Map)

I don't know how new this is, but here's a nifty map of interest to cultural geographers (click on a hot link it for a full-screen version which will give you numeric results by county):

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  1. very cool! i always laughed at my southern friends who referred to soda as coke, regardless of brand [although when i lived in ATL, coke was, of course, the only brand available anyway].

    i wish someone would create a map like that for the sneakers vs. tennis shoes vs. gym shoes scenario - i've always had a hunch that it follows roughly the same geographic lines as this one.

    6 Replies
      1. re: Davwud

        "Or hoagie/grinder/sub."
        add "hero" to that list - in the nyc area "hero" & "sub" are pretty much interchangeable.

        funny, i was thinking about that one a few minutes after i posted.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Which in some places is spelled gyro.

          1. re: lgss

            totally different. hero is a deli meat/cold cut sandwich [with assorted condiments/fixings] on a long, white roll. gyro is a greek sandwich of rotisserie meat, typically served in a pita.

            but the pronunciation is somewhat similar - the g in gyro is silent.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I think (I don't hear it often) around here the g is not silent, and it rhymes with high-low. ;-)

              And you get pop to go with it, of course (because we're west of that split in PA), though I grew up calling it soda in that far eastern part of WV, up against MD, registers as soda on the map.

      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

        glad to see pop is the most common, at least by area covered. i grew up in michigan, where it's pop. when we moved to the south, i was quite shocked to find any number of drinks would be passed off when offered a "co-cola". i quickly stopped accepting offers of "co-cola" and began asking for water instead; at least i knew what i was getting that way.

      3. Fun to see it on a map.

        I grew up in MO and attended University of Missouri-Columbia, middle of the state. We could tell which side of the state students were from based upon whether they called it soda or pop. When I lived in TX some people called it soda water. The traditional term in Boston was tonic.

        The book "The Nine Nations of North America" by Joel Garreau (1981) talks about geographical uses of various phrases (lightning bug vs. firefly, etc).

        1. i'd fall into the "other" category. Everyone (or most) where I come from, refers to it as "a can/bottle of drinks" clue why. I've only started calling it "pop" so the people where i moved, would know what i mean (and stop laughing at me)

          3 Replies
            1. re: im_nomad

              If you're not a Newfie you might be interested to know that that's what they call them.


              1. re: Davwud

                I'm a Newfoundlander yes. BTW Davwud...if you're not a Newfoundlander, i'd tread VERY carefully on the use of the word "newfie". It can be considered a derogatory term to many.

            2. Well I grew up outside of Boston and we call it tonic...but we show up as being 80% soda. Soda would be my #2 choice of what to call it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rizzo0904

                When I moved to Boston from Detroit, I was in Market Basket looking for pop and saw "Tonic" on the overhead aisle signs. I remember thinking how odd it was to give tonic, as in gin & tonic, it's own signage.

              2. I grew up near Cape Cod, and we always said soda. I always heard that people call it tonic, but I never knew anyone who actually did.

                As a kid I thought it was fun to hear my Colorado relatives say pop.