A Hellacious Belle’s Guide to the New South: Coke Addiction

“Can I get a pop?”

If you’re a Southerner and you hear this statement, two things happen.

Your inside voice says, “Oh, a Northerner. Isn’t that cute!  Bless their heart.”

Your outside voice says, “You mean, you’d like a coke?”

I’m sorry, but in the South, it’s just not a pop.

It’s a coke.

cocacola

I don’t care what type or flavor it is: Diet, Classic, Sprite or 7up, SPLENDAยฎ  or Truvรญaยฎ, decaff or caff, leaded or unleaded.  Our grandparents called them “cold drinks,” but we call them cokes because not only was the Coca-Cola Company founded in Atlanta, but it rapidly became the primary carbonated beverage sold in the region, and then the nation and then the world: providing jobs to generations, expanding into a global empire, and becoming “a world-wide symbol of refreshment, fun, good times, and the American lifestyle.

To most Southerners, Pepsi’s just another type of coke.  A little hard to find, a little too fizzy.  Eh. Whatevs. I think you can get one at Taco Bell.

When I’m in “enlightened” company (read: Europeans, people with advanced degrees, anyone from New York City), I will attempt to use the word “soda” instead, in an effort for sophistication.

Should I convey that same term to the server or bartender, they will more often than not ask what type of vodka I’d like to go with it.

 Still, the pause that refreshes.

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23 thoughts on “A Hellacious Belle’s Guide to the New South: Coke Addiction

  1. In Glasgow the word for carbonated drink is ‘ginger’ – nothing to do with the spice or flavour of the drink – anything fizzy is ginger. But only in Glasgow – Edinburgh people would say ‘fizzy juice’ ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Brand new reader and follower here, visiting from A to Z. Nice to meet you, Kim!

    I live in Atlanta, so I know all about how all carbonated soft drinks are Coke. It’s funny too, because I’m from Seattle, where they say soda or soft drink, but I grew up in Minnesota where they say “Pop!” It’s so annoying.

    2015 A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Matthew MacNish from The QQQE

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  3. My favourite drink, I gave up coffee, I gave up dairy, I gave up bread, I gave up sugar, but then I could NOT give up my one glass of coke each day! Somethings are just so NOT worth giving up!!

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  4. That is cute with pop and Coke ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll have to remember that if I am ever visiting in the south, although these days I don’t drink much of pop or coke ๐Ÿ™‚

    enjoy the rest of the challenge!

    betty

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    • Thank you for stopping by, Betty. I don’t drink them much either. Maybe once a month or so, I’ll have a diet coke as a “wake up” treat on a sluggy afternoon. Had to wean myself off. (getting old sucks!)

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  5. Haha, in Spain it is refresca, and that really threw me when I was there in college and wanted to order a Mountain Dew! (I ended up giving up my addiction for that!) I love language discussions, looking forward to your posts! (Besides, my husband is from TX so I need a primer!) I’m with Pam’s An Unconventional Alliance – good luck with the Challenge!

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    • I wonder if “Fresca” (that diet grapefruit soda) comes from “refresca”? Never thought about it! I gave up soft drinks too about five years ago (except for a special treat now and then). I’m a “foster” Texan, so I appreciate the support! Thanks so much for stopping by and I’ll look forward to checking out your blog.

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  6. I wasn’t raised in the South, but I lived in Tennessee for 15 1/2 years and felt like I was home. I miss that area! I look forward to reading your posts.

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