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Lingua franca

(article, Ashley Griffin Gartland)

Rumor has it you can tell where Americans grew up by asking them one simple question: Are carbonated soft drinks called pop, soda, tonic, or just plain Coke?

If they say "soda," the theory goes, they’re likely to come from the Southwest or the Northeast. Those who say "pop" usually hail from the middle of the country, and those who say "tonic" likely have a history in Boston. Then, of course, there are the Southerners who call fizzy drinks "Cokes" whether they're cola drinks or not. 

In Scotland, meanwhile, all these drinks are called "gingers."

A few years back, Alan McConchie became so obsessed with these regional variations in lingo that he created a poll and a map to keep track of them. 


 French fries are called “chips” in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth nations, while potato chips are called "crisps."

 Massachusetts residents call milkshakes “frappes” and Rhode Islanders call these frothy beverages “cabinets.”

* In some parts of Scotland, a sack lunch is called a “piece.”

Know any other favorite or amusing food regionalisms? Share them — and your take on them — in the comments section below.