Soda, Pop or Coke? We Can’t Agree

Soft drinks remain popular, but Americans still differ on what to call them.

October 08, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – When Americans talk about soft drinks, the word they use to describe the beverage often reveals what part of the country they’re from, according to a report on the Business Insider website.

The three most popular names to describe all soft drinks are soda, pop and coke, according to 400,000 beverage consumers who responded to a survey on the web project Pop vs. Soda.

Soda is the preferred term in the U.S. Northeast, most of Florida, California and in certain areas in the Midwest around Milwaukee and St. Louis. Pop is what people say in most of the Midwest and West, and coke, even if it’s not a Coca-Cola brand product, is what people in the South have dubbed the drink.

However, linguists have noted other terms used by people from certain regions, including “tonic” in the Boston area and “cocola” in some parts of the South. A solid 6% of Americans simply call these beverages “soft drinks,” especially in Louisiana and North Carolina.