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Names for soft drinks in the United States

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– History:
– Soda derives from sodium, a common mineral in natural springs.
– The term “pop” was used in 1854 in the Washington Daily Star.
– The earliest known usage of “pop” dates back to 1812, explained by poet Robert Southey.
– “Coke” is the most common term for soft drinks in many countries, excluding the U.S.
– A divide between “soda” and “pop” is evident in certain regions of the U.S.

– Pop:
– “Pop” is most associated with the Midwest and the Western U.S.
– States like Illinois, Ohio, and Oregon commonly use the term “pop.”
– The Mountain West and Pacific Northwest regions are known for using “pop.”
– Alaska and Washington are among the states where “pop” is frequently used.
– The term “pop” is prevalent in Michigan and Kansas.

– Soda:
– “Soda” is commonly used in the Northeastern states and California.
– St. Louis, Missouri, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have a pocket where “soda” is popular.
– The coastal Southeastern U.S. shows variance in terms used for soft drinks.
– A divide between “soda” and “pop” is noticeable in Western Pennsylvania and New York.
– In areas like Eastern Virginia and Coastal Florida, “soda” competes with other terms like “coke.”

– Other names:
– “Tonic” was historically used in Eastern Massachusetts and parts of Maine and New Hampshire.
– “Soda pop” is common in the Mountain West, while “soda” is used in Idaho and Utah.
– Terms like “drink,” “cold drink,” and “carbo” are popular in Southern Virginia and the Carolinas.
– “Soda water” is occasionally used in rural parts of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
– In New Orleans and East Texas, “soft drink,” “cold drink,” or “fountain drink” are commonly used.

– See also:
– Refer to the list of soft drinks by country for more information.

Names for soft drinks in the United States vary regionally. Soda and Pop are the most common terms for soft drinks nationally, although other terms are used, such as, in the South, Coke (a genericized name for Coca-Cola). Since individual names tend to dominate regionally, the use of a particular term can be an act of geographic identity. The choice of terminology is most closely associated with geographic origin, rather than other factors such as race, age, or income. The differences in naming have been the subject of scholarly studies. Cambridge linguist Bert Vaux, in particular, has studied the "pop vs. soda debate" in conjunction with other regional vocabularies of American English.

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