Tuesday, March 17, 2009


When we first visited in the South before we moved here, we ran into our first Southernism.
Imagine the scene. We are in a local restaurant, not a cross-country chain, but a Southern restaurant. Luke has just ordered a hamburger and French fries.
Waitress: What kin' I get you to drink?
Luke: I'd like a Coke, please."
Waitress: "What kind of coke?"
Luke, scowling—this makes no sense to him: "What?"
Waitress: "What kind of coke?"
Luke, still scowling : "A coke."
Waitress: "Oh, you want a Coke coke."
Luke, looking at the waitress like she has lost her mind: "Yes."

On the West Coast they call carbonated beverages by their individual names (Sprite, rootbeer, etc.). In the Midwest they call them “pop,” in the Northeast they call them “soda,” and in the South they call them “coke.” Still, I think it’s bizarre to say, “I’d like a 7-up coke.”


  1. I remember Jacob telling me this story before. Heh heh.

  2. Next time Luke should say, "Coca-cola." Then the waitress should get it. At least, I've yet to find one who says, "What kind of Coca-cola?" (unless, of course, they have cherry coke too).

    Hmm...Luke scowling. How odd; what would that look like I wonder. :)

  3. I think it depends on where you live in the West. In many central valley California and even some SoCal restaurants I've been asked what kind of Pepsi/Coke I want. It is used both a generic and specific term though I think Pepsi was more commonly used than Coke. Nowadays I hear "educated" waiters saying "we have Pepsi products" or "Coke products" - clearly the more accurate term. (Maybe you NorEasterners are snobby about these things:)