Language Lens

A blog about life, discovery and culture through the lens of language and linguistics.

Archive for the tag “soft drinks”

Regionalisms: Pop vs. Soda

  • Bob: “Would you like a pop?”
  • Linda: “A what?”
  • Bob: “Like a Coke or a Sprite, ya know – a pop?”
  • Linda: “I call it soda – where have you been living?”

Linguistics teaches about dialects within countries or idiolects, the dialects of individuals and even companies.  A classic example of regionalisms in the United States are the various terms for soda, or is it pop?  Even sodi-pop, a mix of the two, is a common term used in the mid-west.   Growing up in Colorado, to me it’s pop, and it will always be, unless I have to pedir una gaseosa in Spanish.


According to the map, there are three primary names for the carbonated beverage: Pop, Soda and Coke with many variations throughout different regions.  Facebook friends throughout the country confirmed results of the map, and they also introduced a few terms that would be found in that “other” category.

  • My family in Illinois says “sodi pop.” 🙂
  • Bubbles! Junk! Fizz! …and Soda!
  • I get made of for calling it pop out here on the east coast.
  • Actually as a kid I called it soda-pop until my cousins informed me one summer that this was very wrong and teased me mercilessly until I chose a side.

How many more colors would be introduced to the map if it represented other English speaking countries?  These terms don’t even include the different terms from other English speaking countries.

  •  In Australia I believe it is just called fizzy drink… or by the name, except for lemon-lime soda which is referred to as lemonade both here and in the UK.

So, what do you call it and second question: Could you change the word or is this a regionalism that will always stick with you?  Again, I”m partial to “pop.”

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