December 6, 2009

Living in Chicago, I constantly hear the Cubs vs. Sox debate. Factors of who you root for range from the neighborhood you live in or grew up in to those who root for the Cubs because it might be the cool thing to do.

Well last night, I was at a bar with a group of friends who are from various places. Somehow we got on the topic of what you call a certain carbonated beverage: soda or pop. I call it soda. Period. One friend from Erie, PA calls it pop, another from Philly, PA called it soda growing up but calls it pop now (maybe his living in Wisconsin and Chicago had something to do with that?), my friend from Florida calls is soda, another from the Chicago suburb Northbrook calls it pop and my fiancé Nik from Columbus, OH calls it pop.

My feeling is that most people from the midwest call it pop, because I never heard of such a thing while living my whole life in CT/NY and MA until meeting Nik and then moving to Chicago. And for argument’s sake, I’m lumping Pennsylvania into the Midwest, since Erie is very close to the Ohio border…and as a (bitter) Mets fan, I’m not really acknowledging Philly.

Since it was late, and we’d been drinking, I asked my Twitter friends to see what they call it and to include where they are from. Here are the replies:

BlueAndOrange: I call it soda, in New York – but when I was in Detroit, they called it Pop. it was really hard to get used to.

TWSDanielle: Soda… and you know I’m a Jersey girl!

Topher33: Soda. Duluth, Minnesota.

jjjrrr: soda!! (Editor’s note: he is from New Jersey)

ejech: we say pop…prolly like someone else in your house! 😉 (Editor’s note, she is friend of Nik’s)

So with the exception of Topher33 (thanks for throwing my theory off), it does seem like it’s an East Coast vs Midwest thing. But why? Where does ‘pop’ come from? Is it because soda is bubbly and makes a pop noise when opened?

Let’s not even get on our debate of water fountains that also came up last night. One person calls them a ‘bubbler’. I’ve never, ever heard of that. Or the sometimes debate of how you pronounce the word caramel: (karuh-muhl or kahr-muhl). I say the former.

Back to the Cubs/Sox debate though, I root for the Sox since I could never actively root for another National League team – and I live a mile from Wrigley Field!

What do you call that carbonated beverage?

4 Responses to “Debates”

  1. At Penn State this is a common debate, apparently western and rural PA call it pop, where the Philly metro area call it soda. I think that both are short for soda pop. Apparently there is a webpage with a map of the US geographical breakdown:

  2. That map is awesome!

  3. pop

  4. Ben is correct. It was called soda pop.

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