soda, pop, coke

Now this is one neato map. Its a breakdown of the regional term for a sweet carbonated beverage across the united states, based on actual survey data submitted to www.popvssoda.com. Click a state for raw data.

What I find especially interesting about this is that although I knew soda vs. pop vs. coke was regional, I didn’t realize how incredibly distinctly regional it was. Some of these dividing lines are really stark, for reasons I cannot begin to imagine. Why is is soda in eastern PA and pop in western with a near perfect dividing line between the two? Ditto California and Oregon? What is with that big blotch of soda in St. Louis? And just what precisely does “other” mean?

Where I come from, its “soda.”

(I got it from Slashfood

10 thoughts on “soda, pop, coke

  1. I grew up in NE Massachusetts and we called it “tonic”. (It’s middlesex county on the map and you’ll note all the “Other” responses.)

  2. This is one of those weird “cross-cultural” things in my marriage; I’m a “soda” person, he was raised with “pop” …and we live in “pop” country. I think I’ve mostly migrated to “soda pop.” 🙂

    And I think if you were to look at where people from the northeast US migrated in the last 100 years you’d probably see the soda/pop division in action.

  3. I am from teh South and everything down here is called Coke if you want a Pepsi you ask for a Coke. If you want mountain dew you ask for a Coke.If you want water you ask for water.

  4. The choice of words probably depended on if your regional vendor was speaking about the chemical added to carbonate the beverage (sodium bicarbonate -> soda) or the acid added to give the drinks a sharper flavor (phosphoric acid -> pop). These days, however, soft drinks are much more heavily carbonated with carbonic acid, but the phosphoric acid is still there, so perhaps we should be calling them carbo-pops.

  5. I live in the St. Louis area and I suppose we are more metroplotin that most of the midwest. Its odd to see the north and the south so polarized witn St. Louis spit. Much like during the War between the states.

  6. Just looking over the Illinois portion. Strange! Counties with large cities all went to Pop while those counties I know without large cities (nothing larger than 20000 in one spot) all went for soda. Must be a country-vs-city thing here.

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