Monday, January 25, 2010


by One Hungry Jew (NWM Staff Writer)

I got my first taste of this cola controversy back in the fall of ’89. I had left the comforts of my Lon Giland home and entered the college phase of my life at SUNY Fredonia (way upstate in NY). Upon entering the cafeteria the first time is when it happened. I mistakenly asked one of the lunch-ladies where I could find the soda machine. After about 10 seconds of awkward silence, I added, “Um, the Coke machine?” At which point she laughed and said, “Oh, you mean pop. Just make a left by the salad bar dear.”

For the next 4 years at school I continued to receive “pop” jabs, but was never broken. Even when I dated a girl from Rochester, I still firmly held to my soda beliefs. Not saying that was our demise, but I’m sure it was just another sign we were from two different worlds.

If you too find yourself transplanted to another region you could go my stubborn-ass route or take a “when in Rome” attitude (no judgments either way). If it is the latter here’s a handy cheat sheet that breaks "pop vs. soda" down by state. PLEASE NOTE: Because opinions might further differ within the state I also included a detailed "Soda vs. Pop" regional map.

Courtesy of &

  1. Alabama – SODA
  2. Alaska – SODA
  3. Arizona – SODA
  4. Arkansas – SODA
  5. California – SODA
  6. Colorado – POP
  7. Connecticut – SODA
  8. Delaware – SODA
  9. Florida – SODA
  10. Georgia – SODA
  11. Hawaii – SODA
  12. Idaho – POP
  13. Illinois – POP
  14. Indiana ­– POP
  15. Iowa – POP
  16. Kansas ­– POP
  17. Kentucky – POP
  18. Louisiana – SODA
  19. Maine – SODA
  20. Maryland – SODA
  21. Massachusetts – SODA
  22. Michigan – POP
  23. Minnesota – POP
  24. Mississippi – SODA
  25. Missouri ­– SODA
  26. Montana – POP
  27. Nebraska – POP
  28. Nevada – SODA
  29. New Hampshire – SODA
  30. New Jersey – SODA
  31. New Mexico – SODA
  32. New York – SODA
  33. North Carolina – SODA
  34. North Dakota – POP
  35. Ohio – POP
  36. Oklahoma – POP
  37. Oregon – POP
  38. Pennsylvania – POP
  39. Rhode Island – SODA
  40. South Carolina – SODA
  41. South Dakota – POP
  42. Tennessee – SODA
  43. Texas – SODA
  44. Utah – POP
  45. Vermont – SODA
  46. Virginia – SODA
  47. Washington – POP
  48. West Virginia – POP
  49. Wisconsin – SODA
  50. Wyoming ­– POP

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  1. Well, actually, in Texas (or at least in this part) we ask "What kind of Coke do you want?" Imagine the down home country girl movin' to the big city of Chicago for awhile. I got razzed on the "Pop" thing, too! ;) Great post.

  2. Well. Here in Australia we call it "fizzy drink", or it's actually name (lemonade, fanta, coke, etc)

    It's weird how it's different all over the world :)

  3. I've lived north and south, and I gave up a long time ago on trying to please the natives. It's whatever I feels like.

  4. "Pop" is weird - my dad and the word. Canadians use it too. I prefer to stick with "soda" (especially Coke). Looks like someone did a lot of research and got plenty caffeinated for the sake of this post.

  5. Just for the record, I mean I know that site states who says what and all, but I never hear anyone ever say pop in PA (at least in my area). It's soda.

    Like ^ robyn said, I hear "pop" a lot form older people.

    BTW I love soda...Diet Dr. Pepper to be exact.

  6. Never "soda," always "pop" - it's a Welsh thing.

  7. Ooooh, I'm going to call it 'fizzy drink' from now on! Thanks Little Bird!

  8. PS - Copyboy, I gave your blog a little plug on mine. I think it may've helped a bit. Heidi started it. She probably drinks "pop" too, tho she's a Californian.

  9. There are a few who co-mingle their words as well---SODEE POP.......But they eat roadkill too so......we don't count them!!!

  10. Im from TN and I say soda.

  11. Pennsylvania is difficult to classify as either a soda state or a pop state- the eastern and central portions of the state say soda, while the western portion says pop.

  12. Addendum to the above- if I were to classify Pennsylvania as a soda state or a pop state, I'd probably give soda a slight edge over pop.


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