Do you say “soda” or “pop”? Or do you use “Coke” as a generic term to describe all types of soda? Your answer is probably based on where you grew up. Alan McConchie, a cartographer “loves making cartographic visualizations that reveal new ways of seeing the world,” recently unveiled a new map of the United States that reveals exactly where our soda/pop boundaries lie, and it’s pretty eye-opening!
As you can see from the below map, we have some very colorful differences when it comes to how we talk about our favorite fizzy beverages:
The results of McConchie’s survey are quite interesting. So where does the word “pop” reign supreme? People in states like Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Minnesota say that they use “pop.” People in states like California, Missouri, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Wisconsin say “soda.”
And “Coke” (which is used not only to describe the actual Coca-Cola brand but all types of soda in general) is used by people in states like Texas, South Carolina, Mississipi and Georgia.
Coca-Cola actually weighed in on McConchie’s soda map.
For those that might not be able to see the color scale to well in the bottom right corner of the map,
Blue = Soda
Yellow = Pop
Pink = Coke
“‘Pop’ people are mainly concentrated in the Midwest and Northwest, while the ‘soda’ speakers live in the Northeast, Southwest and pockets in between,” says a Coke representative. “Most Southerners, meanwhile, tend to call any soft drink a ‘Coke’ no matter what brand they’re sipping.”
So why do Southerners call all fizzy beverages “Coke”? Some people theorize that it’s because Coke originated in Georgia. The beverage was created by Atlanta pharmacist Dr. John S. Pemberton, so people in those deep South states have always associated soda with the Coke brand name.
Want to add your two cents? Go to the PopVsSoda.Com website and vote in the survey to share your hometown as well as whether you say soda, pop, Coke or something different. You don’t have to give your name or email if you wish to stay anonymous.
But remember: Whether you call it soda, pop or Coke, make sure you’re still drinking plenty of water!