What Does Idaho Say? Pop or Soda?
Idahoans still favor pop. Soda is gaining. Check out this link from Business Insider. The map is great. It shows most of the northern tier, west of Syracuse, New York, says pop. Much of the deep south still call it Coke. That’s a bit like tissues being called Kleenex, where the brand becomes so well known that it becomes the definition of the product. The northeast and the southwest are soda territories.
I grew up saying pop and north of the border there was a large chain called the Pop Shop (one of the few things Canada gets right). When I went to college, I was outnumbered by the soda crowd and I had to explain soda is what your mom puts in the refrigerator to absorb odors. The very same people also referred to New York City as “the city” and were annoyed when you asked what city they were talking about. Today, they all sell shoes on Long Island.
By the way, the national map is changing with migration patterns. Florida shows the influence of migrants changing the name to soda. Here in Idaho, you can also see the change, especially in more urban areas. New people are coming in such large numbers that they could overwhelm pop in a decade. Now, I realize this isn’t a hill we’re willing to die on, but it does show how culture is influenced by the pace of migration.
In much of the country, dialects and accents were set by the earliest settlers. But whenever a migration pattern is accelerated, there are changes. For instance, the Inland North Dialect, which has dominated around the eastern Great Lakes is spreading as far west as Missouri, Indiana, and Minnesota. You’ll find the General American Dialect in Idaho, which probably was only heard on the lips of tourists 50 years ago.