Soda or Pop? Maps of Regional Food Dialects

published Jun 7, 2013
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Pecan. Do you pronounce it pee-KAHN or PEE-can? Is that fizzy beverage called soda, pop, coke, or a soft drink? Crawfish, crayfish, crawdad, or critter I don’t have a name for? Travel around the United States and you’ll find a number of differences in the words people use for all kinds of food and drink, which one linguistics student has compiled into a series of fun and fascinating maps. Take a look and learn a new pronunciation — or even an entirely new word!

My own native Southern California food dialect matches the maps; I say soda, crawfish, pee-KAHN, and I don’t say slaw when I mean coleslaw. Having a husband from Massachusetts, I know what a cruller is, but I would never use the word myself. We eat bear claws out here in the West, and put frosting on our cakes, not icing. But what the heck is a brew thru?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

See more: Pecan, Caramel, Crawfish: Food Dialect Maps at The Atlantic
See the original maps: Dialect Survey Maps and Results by Joshua Katz

Do you know of any food words that are unique to where you live?

(Images: Joshua Katz/The Atlantic)