Why Do Texans Call Every Soft Drink a “Coke?”

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Why Do Texans Call Every Soft Drink a “Coke?”

Do you use the word coke as a generic term for all carbonated soft drinks? Or do you insist that coke can only be a reference to Coca-Cola? The answer, as it turns out, is a pretty good indicator of which region of the nation you call home. And if you’re from the Texas Hill Country, the odds are you’ve called Dr Pepper a “coke” more than a few times.

Why Do Texans Call Every Soft Drink a “Coke?”

Photo: Huffington Post

Midwesterners usually refer to soft drinks as “pop,” while New Englanders call it “soda.” The word Coke has been a registered trademark of the Coca-Cola Company since 1944. Why do southerners use coke as a catch-all term? The regional slang likely began because the first soft drink whose popularity conquered the nation, Coca-Cola, was invented down south in Atlanta, Georgia. Coke’s appeal made its way from our taste buds to our vernacular, where it has remained deeply ingrained on the southern tongue.

Ask a native Texan if he wants a coke and he’s likely to reply: “What kind?” It’s a bit like calling all tissues “Kleenex,” even though Kleenex is a specific, trademarked brand name. Over time, the names of hugely popular products become genericized.

Why Do Texans Call Every Soft Drink a “Coke?”
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