When I was seven we moved from Milwaukee to the depths of the Nicolet Forest. The town was about 1900 strong (and still is) and about half of those people were related to me directly and most of the other half were indirectly related. My cousin Lanie became my first friend by proximity to my new home. She usually wore dresses but was always bare foot and dirty with wild hair from climbing trees and beating up the boys. I was familiar with her reputation so when she turned and looked at me one day with a wild look (she always had a wild look) and asked, "Do you want a pop?" I immediately responded, "I don't think so." Then she says, "Well, I'm gonna go git one." leaving me bit confused. She came back a few moments later with a can of rootbeer. "Sure you don't want a pop?" she asks again holding the can out to entice me. OH!!!!
I grew up in Milwaukee, WI for the first half of my childhood and learned to call it "soda". This was confirmed by every carbonated beverage drink commercial except Shasta. So when she said pop I thought she meant to hit me, not to offer me a refreshing sugary drink. Even though almost everyone in the area called it pop, I never could bring myself to call it that. It seemed like such an unintellectual name (yes even at seven I was that opinionated). In fact, I have had an aversion to "pop" ever since.
But I have wondered how do certain areas decide the names that they will give certain things? Like in some Southern states they don't call it soda or pop- it's Coke. Like you call all facial tissues Kleenex or all photo copies Xerox's. Some places take the middle road and call it soda-pop. Surprisingly that's not nearly as irritating as "pop". I have even heard them called "soft drinks" in other areas of the country. Who decides these things?


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Blogger Shannon said...

I had an interesting experience with the word "Bubbler." I was born in Milwaukee, and my entire family (from the Neenah-Menasha area) called water fountains "Bubblers." When I moved to Las Vegas as a child, I attempted to use the term with some random casino worker (as in "where's the bubbler? It's 300 degrees outside, and I need some water!" After the strange, almost aggressive reaction, I received, I quickly understood "Bubbler" was a Wisconsin-only (possibly my-family-only) thing.

March 21, 2005 6:36 PM

Blogger twitterpated said...

I am from South Dakota and we call it pop here. The big fight when I was in college was that the South Dakotans ate casseroles and the Minnesotans ate hot dishes. And the SD's played duck duck goose, while the crazy MN's played grey duck....

March 23, 2005 11:29 AM

Blogger SierraBella said...

Upon moving from the East coast to California (at the age of eight), my troubles arose when I told my new-found friends I had to go in for "supper." (Pronounced suppa)
Although still in California, I've recently moved to the foothills of the Sierra. I was truly surprised to find the locals really do call our non-local visitors "Flatlanders."

March 24, 2005 3:22 PM

Blogger Karla said...

Yup, in Texas it's a "coke". You order your coke, then the waitress asks "Diet or regular, is Pepsi ok?"? It's a thing. A beloved, lovely Texas thang.

March 30, 2005 6:20 AM

Blogger Japan Deity said...

Soda! It's called soda! Cokes okay. Maybe the people just got mixed up and stuck with what they originaly called it. But pop... people please, pop is more cheesy than...(looks at dictionary) a empty box that you pay 80$ for and your expecting a Game Boy SP... that sort of burns me up.

May 02, 2005 10:46 PM