Home / Various and Sundry / I was just wondering…

I was just wondering…

Often, I find that the word I grew up using isn’t the word that they use here in Yucatan. For example, enchufe is replaced by the word contacto, that’s an electrical outlet or socket in English. I’ve grown accustomed to getting blank looks when I speak Spanish, but I wasn’t prepared when the same thing happened to me in English!

At a recent meeting of the Merida Writer’s Group,I read the first draft of the sugar chapter in my book. I used the word soda, mainly because I didn’t want to signal out Coke or Pepsi but wanted a generic term. LG explained that in the part of Canada she is from, soda means bicarbonate of soda or maybe carbonated water, like in the phrase, “I’ll have scotch and soda, please.”

My curiosity is piqued, I’ve been pestering all my friends, asking them the generic term for soft drinks in their home region. Now it’s your turn,II need your help.What do you call a refresco in English? Also what comes to mind when you hear the words, soda, soft drink, or carbonated beverage? They say the devil is in the details, and this detail is certainly bedeviling me!

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Hi Michele,
    I know the flavored soda waters as Italian sodas. Though I am as far from being fashionable in my drink choices as it’s possible to be.


  2. From Upstate NY and most of the northeastern US, soda is used to refer to any flavored fizzy drink like Coke, Pepsi, Sprite etc. Soda water is used more specifically referring to flavored soda waters that seem to be all the rage these days. Baking soda is called just that.

  3. If you’re using a generic term for Coke or Pepsi, try cola. Otherwise, soda should be clear enough. Soda pop if you want to be a little bit retro. Bicarb is short for bicarbonate of soda, isn’t it? Does anyone even take bicarbonate of soda anymore?

  4. In Texas. we use the word “coke” for all brands of soft drinks.


  5. Many Canadians say “pop” shortened from soda pop, which is now old fashioned. Lots of info on the internet.
    Marilyn in Ontario

  6. We called it Pop here in Ohio and if you wanted to fancy up a bit, it was soda pop.

  7. Soda is a Coke, Pepsi, 7-Up, etc. Baking soda is the term that we use for bicarbonate of soda. Born and raised in California. My relatives in the midwest said “pop.” I have never heard of anyone becoming confused by the word soda in context. Sounds a bit odd to me.

  8. In southern Oregon when I was growing up, we used “pop” as a generic term. Sometimes, “soda.” Of course, we said “crick,” and used “over yonder” — a lot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll To Top