Generic Name for Soft Drinks by County (U.S.A.)

I mostly grew up in Northwest Florida, which is a mere 12 hours to Miami by automobile. The culture of the Panhandle is distinctly “Southern.” However, no one ever believes me when I say that my Florida bears little resemblance to the Florida they’d know from Orlando or Miami or Key West, etc.

Finally, some proof of Florida’s cultural diversity: in my part of the state, we say “Coke” as a generic term for all soft drinks. This is also true in Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama. In South Florida, it’s a bunch of Northern immigrants who say “Soda.” This also explains why the state is a battleground state every election

W. David MARX
June 17, 2008

9 Responses

  1. Rory P. Wavekrest Says:

    Where do the people who say “Pop” live?

  2. W. David MARX Says:

    Midwest, apparently.

  3. panda Says:

    pop is midwest.. also said in my home town. “rochester” ny.. witch is new buffalo. but i called soda pop “pop” growing up.. its pop.. orange pop, or grape pop.. whatever. thats what the generic brand cans said! if the cans says pop. its pop.. imo calling it soda is lame. wtf? soda.. thats already something. its soda! hence soda pop. its soda. with flavor. that pop.. pop is way better slang.. and coke makes no sense. thats a freaking brand. its like calling all sneakers nike’s..

    “coke” as a generic term is also used in texas. though in dallas. coke actually means dr. pepper.

  4. Rory P. Wavekrest Says:

    I’m with you, buddy.

  5. Ian Says:

    Whatever. We said “soda” in Albany.

  6. Rory P. Wavekrest Says:

    And you were wrong every time!

  7. Adamu Says:

    Northern CT = firm “soda” territory

    I’ll concede that at least “pop” is as accurate as “soda” in describing carbonated drinks, but why would people call every carbonated drink “Coke” when things like grape soda are so clearly different? Is it just that those areas historically lacked a choice of soft drinks?

  8. W. David MARX Says:

    It’s a Southern thing. You wouldn’t understand.

  9. tammanycall Says:

    You may be interested in this:

    “Using the World Wide Web to gather and process data from across English-speaking North America, I intend to plot the regional variations in the use of the terms “Pop” and “Soda” to describe carbonated soft drinks.”


    Also, Obama and McCain are tied at 48% in FL today.