soda, pop, or p**p


The following story has nothing to do with the above picture, but taking it was the most creative thing I did all day. However, I did hear some creative reading by a first grader that cracked me up (quietly).

I was in the reading room at the elementary school (wrangling those pesky standardized tests). There was a lull in the testing action so I whiled away the 30 minutes drawing and listening to a 6 year old boy reading to the reading specialist. She was assessing, so she was just listening to him read and not correcting anything.

~6 year old’s own words are in parentheses~

What do you want for supper,” asked Tom’s mom.

“I want peas in a pot and toast that’s hot,” said Tom.

“I don’t have peas in a pot and toast that’s hot,” said Tom’s mom.

“Then I want ice cream that’s pink and poop to drink” (wait- poop? . . He wants poop to drink? . . . Poop? . . . He’s a weird kid. Really weird.)

“We don’t have ice cream that’s pink and poop to drink,” said Mom.

(Oh, good, great! He’s not really going to drink it.)

and he blithely goes on reading.

After he was done with the book, the teacher had a lesson with him about how what you read should make sense, but actually Northern Californians almost universally call it soda, not pop, and most kids have no idea that a lot of the country says pop when they want the fizzy stuff. So pop might sound even stranger than poop.

You might ask how he can easily read hot, pot, mom, and Tom and not pop, which has the same vowel sound. Good question.

I grew up saying pop (WV near Pittsburgh) but have been a soda person most of my adult life. I wondered which term was more prevalent. Funny I should ask. Apparently many millions of people have already been weighing in. And it’s not just soda, pop, coke, or soft drink, Go to if you haven’t seen it. We are a nation divided by the nomenclature for carbonated drinks. Scroll down to read the explanations of the words. Isn’t etymology fun.


6 responses to “soda, pop, or p**p

  1. Well maybe sketching while you were test wrangling and writing this post were creative too? I do love etymology and just finished one of my favorite bits of it ever which I will post tomorrow or the next day. P.S. I love the story about the reading difficulty re: pop/poop and will share it with my literacy co-workers

  2. we say soda but I married a pop guy.
    Pop was my grandfathers nickname so when I hear pop I think of him.
    No poop drinkers here- what a hoot!
    In answer to post below.
    Yes- and no- something I like something better later and sometimes I wonder, “what was I thinking!”

  3. funny… when i was 19 i moved from and 80%+ soda county to an 80%+ coke county… i was very confused and just thought that Coke was all everybody drank and no one drank Pepsi or whatever… i’ve moved on fortunately

  4. Out of the mouths of babes. How about a soft drink, as opposed to a hard drink. I had a real education when I moved to Arkansas, some thinks I just didn’t know about, like mater stakes, chick fruit, split a solid quart, and on and on. Great post.

  5. Under 13, said “soft drink”. Since then (moved to the US), said “soda”.

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