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1/9/12

The Most Argued Debate of Our Time - Soda vs Pop

I was born and raised in Southern California.

Therefore, I love soda.

My favorite soda is Dr. Pepper.

Do you know what I don't like?  Pop.

Yet, in Idaho, all they sell is pop.  Soda is very hard to find.  You can get it in some places, but most people sell pop.

And it irks me a little.  Not a lot, just a little.

You see, I'm not a fan of pop.

Yes, it's technically the same thing, but it tastes different to me.  It tastes... odd... off... just not right...

But now that I'm living where I am, everyone calls it pop.  And looks at me funny when I say soda.  Idaho isn't too bad about it; about 1/3 of the people say 'soda' here.  In Wyoming and especially in Montana, it's 'pop pop pop.'

click to enlarge
This map breaks down the 'soda vs pop vs coke' in the United States.  More states prefer pop, but the major areas (Los Angeles, Chicago, New York) say soda.  Does that make soda superior?  Does that make pop more down to earth?

And what the hell is up with the South, and everyone calling everything 'coke?'  What if I prefer Pepsi? (I don't, that stuff is garbage)

So... in the battle of Soft Drinks, what do YOU call them?  Sound off below...
Please Share it! :)

41 witty retorts:

Yandie, Goddess of Pickles. said...

Central Ontario here.. we call it Pop.

Soda is a white powdery substance that makes cakes fluffy.

A Beer for the Shower said...

Here in Colorado it's pop. But I'll always call it soda. Just sounds better. And I find the whole 'coke' thing confusing too. It's like if we called every car 'Ford.' Oh, just driving my Ford. What kind of Ford do you drive? A Toyota. WTF?

Pickleope said...

No way am I getting embroiled in this debate. Families have been divided, parents disowning children, wives divorcing husbands, dogs defecting to a neighbor's yard...no way. But calling it all "coke" is just silly. "Cola" I could understand.

-Cam said...

We live in a "pop" area of Oklahoma. Being from Cali like you, I have always called it soda. I do not like pop. Also, I prefer to put my groceries in a bag, not a sack. Sacks are for nuts.

Lost.in.Idaho said...

@Cam: Thanks for pointing out the bags vs sacks difference as well. Bags under the eyes, not sacks. Bag lady, not sack lady. Lets keep the sacks in pants, people.

Lady Estrogen said...

See all that dark blue 80%-100% around the empty Southern Ontario area? Yes, that's me.
POP
POP
POP.

Erica said...

It's about time someone got to the bottom of this! Look at Illinois, and um, that state above Illinois-- they are both divided almost perfectly into the two camps!

Anyway, like you, I'm from Southern California where they say soda, but I now live in Oregon which is supposedly a pop state. I've never heard anyone here say pop, but that might be because this map was drawn in 2003, prior to the Great California Migration of 2004 and subsequent reterritorialization of Orefornia.

Lil Dreamer said...

I was born and raised a soda girl. I actually remember drinking Pepsi from a GLASS bottle. However, I kinda dig the POP thingy. It's just a fun word to say. POP! POP! POW!

Workingdan said...

It seems here in Indiana, we are balanced between the two...

We call it soda-pop!

Martina said...

Generally in North Western Ontario (a.k.a. nomans land) it's called pop, unless it's in a glass bottle, then it's soda.

Most folks here simply call it "mix" not sure what that says about the levels of alcoholism/recreational drinking here..

squatlo said...

In the south it's "coke", no matter WHAT you're trying to order. My wife recently sent me into the store to buy her a grape coke. "Grape coke?" I asked, and she said, "You know, like a Nehi or Orange Crush, only grape!"

When I was about ten my uncle and his kids showed up from Wisconsin and asked where they could go for some "pop". I think I made them repeat the question four or five times trying to get my head around the request. "Pop?" which to me meant a bursting balloon or a reference to someone's grampa.

Melanie said...

In Michigan, it is pop (but as you know, I have a tendency to call it SODA). When I was a kid I spent some time in Georgia, and my head wanted to explode by people calling everything Coke.

Lost.in.Idaho said...

@Squat: I hear there's no such thing as unsweetened tea in the South either....

Random Girl said...

I'm in pop country but call it soda. People think I'm a snob because of it, but I don't care.

GAG me said...

In California...I grew up in the 80's so Coke means....
Beyond that? Soda! Never Pop. We are way too hip in Ca. NOT!
BTW drove through your state last week!

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

I can attest that here in California we definitely say soda, thank goodness. Pop is your dad, not your drink.

Insomniac #4 said...

I moved from a soda state (CT) to a soda state (NJ). It will always be soda to me. Though I wouldn't mind calling it 'Coke', though; I always order it by name, even if the restaurant serves Pepsi. Because Pepsi sucks.

Al Penwasser said...

Well, thank God (or Tebow-which will probably get the job done)!
I call it "soda" which is great because I apparently live in "soda" territory (I'll admit that calling it "Pop" makes more sense and that calling every carbonated beverage "Coke" is linguistically lazy).
Now, if I can only convince these rubes that a "hoagie" is actually a "sub."

Not the Hero said...

Calgary, Canada reporting in.

Generally it is called Pop. I know it comes from the fact it all used to be called soda-pop. To get around the dispute we call everything what it is. "I'm going to go buy some pop" is never said. It's always "I'm going to go buy a coke/ Pepsi/ ice tea/ cream-soda... etc."

D4 said...

Coke. And that's how you know they're doing their job.

Anonymous said...

lol I saw that map on vsauce (youtube) ! here in canada it's pop.

LogAllot.com said...

California - Soda

The Reckmonster said...

I'm from Michigan - and when I lived there (and in Indiana), I said "pop." Everywhere else I have lived I have said "soda." Even here in the south, I refuse to call everything "coke." That's like referring to every single brand of sanitary napkin as "Kotex."

Lost.in.Idaho said...

Ah, but what about kleenexes and band-aids?

Playing devil's advocate here...

Tori D said...

Coke!! That and "drank" here in MS :) I'm bad about asking "what kind of coke y'all got?"

Haven said...

Pop! I haven't even read your post yet and I say POP!

Pop!

Pop!

Lost.in.Idaho said...

@Haven: *sigh* and you seemed so awesome...

Fantastic writing skills, good wit, charming... but you like pop....

I'm sorry, I can't be with a 'pop' girl. It's not you, it's me...

middle child said...

Soda? Um,..no. It's pop. And Dr.Pepper? Really? Idaho, you'd better get yourself to Illinois fast while I can still save you!!!

CT said...

I always used to say pop, but so many people say soda nowadays I've had to convert

The Simple Dude said...

It's all POP here in Minnesota!

SD

Thank, Q said...

Well, I'm from the south and we've always referred to them as "pops" in my area. Soda isn't used and I've never heard anyone refer to any drink as a Coke. However, I've heard of every tissue being a Kleenex and every cotton swab is a Q-Tip.

Gaping Mind said...

Wow, you make the UK sound so dull..where anything 'drinkable' is just referred to as a 'drink'. More specifically, any drink non-alcoholic is a 'soft drink'.

Yeah, we're an imaginative bunch of people!

GM x

Mynx said...

Soft drink, softie or fizz.

That's what we call it in my part of the world (Australia)

Jessica ( frellathon ) said...

I'm in Dallas and I don't call it soda or pop if I want a coke I call it coke if I want Dr. Pepper I call it Dr. Pepper I don't get the whole soda pop thing either. I had someone ask me for pop once and I was all huh?

OKinUK said...

Coke. Cokecokecokecokecokecokecoke.

A coke for an Oke. Okay, so I'm not doing so hot at the pun today.

From OK, as you well know, so it's "I'm heading to Sonic for lunch. Want me to grab you a coke?"
"Yeah, I'll have a Route 44 Root Beer with a shot of vanilla."

OR! "Yeah, I'd like a small Sprite."

On the whole, this debate is soooo not as bad as which way the TP goes.

(Bye the way, the TP goes over, not under.)

Zombie said...

I call all soda coke... where does that land me on the chart? lol.

Michael said...

Soda. Always soda. Pop is just gratingly annoying. And the people who combine the two and ask for a soda-pop. Seriously? Just no.

LMAO @OKinUK... TP should always go over!!

Moona said...

Hmm, here in Australia, anything non-alcoholic and fizzy is called 'soft drink' and 'soda' is just carbonated water. Living in Toronto, Canada for 4 years where they call fizzy stuff 'pop' was bad enough, but they also call a burger a 'sandwich' and the main course is an 'entree', so they are totally confused.

And the TP goes over. You can tell by the pattern printed on it - if it goes under you can't see the pattern. I've also heard it is a male-female thing - over for guys, under for gals.
However, I have it on good authority (oncologist) that you shouldn't use printed or scented loo paper because it's bad for your bottom, AND your 'butt', depending on your location.

Pish Posh said...

How long have you lived there? They broke me at 2 years. Now I say pop and people in Cali make fun of me, where 2 years ago I said soda and midwesterners made fun of me.

So I stopped drinking it. Seriously.

P.J. said...

This argument will go on for ages. I have a blog post coming up soon enough about something similar to this.

I am from Central New York. So it's soda.

I went to school in Central Pennsylvania where it was split down the middle. It was like finger nails to the chalk board when someone said pop.

I'll tell you what pop means to me.... POP! Right in the kisser!

Marie Nicole said...

Pop is a very mid-west way of talkin. Burp. Don't care for the mid-west, never have + never will. So for me, I shudder when I hear people say pop. Especially the belchy sounding kind "Want some pOp with that?" like if they're burping it out. Yuck.

I guess because I'm a frenchy from Canada, it's a soft drink, aka "liqueur douce" direct translation. Even in your question you ask us how we call our soft drink: pop or soda?

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