I've run out of pop (UK)

susanna76

Senior Member
Romanian
Hi there,

Am reading a British chick lit book, Here Come the Girls by Milly Johnson.

Is the word pop used at all in the UK to mean soda? Because here's what one character, an older woman, in a wheelchair, says,
"I've run out of pop."

I can't think what else pop could mean here. There's not much in the way of context. Olive comes home, where she takes care of her mother-in-law Doreen.
'I've been sat here for ages watching the same channel. The batteries have conked out in the remote.' Doreen Hardcastle huffed with some annoyance. 'And I've run out of pop.'
'Where's David?' asked Olive, falling into automatic 'sorting-Doreen-out' mode and going to the drawer for a pack of AA batteries.

Thank you!
 
Last edited:
  • pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I was thinking that pop might have meant something like "energy", but with several readings I now think it is bottled, carbonated, sugared, flavored, non-alcoholic beverage in spite of its unlikely location in BE "chick-lit". (Perhaps Doreen has been watching too many American movies.)
     

    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hi again, I forgot about pop as energy. But I'm wondering, is pop used in the UK to mean energy? Also, why doesn't any dictionary list pop as energy??
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    is pop used in the UK to mean energy? It's very rarely used. If I heard it, I would expect it to come from a poite old lady who thinks that the word is still current, when, in fact, it existed for a few years about half- a century or more ago.
     

    Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    I think that given the context of an old lady in a wheelchair who can't get up to change the batteries in her TV remote control, the meaning of 'energy' for 'pop' is rather unlikely.
    I would say it means the fizzy drink; maybe from the book it is possible to find out if the lady was in the habit of drinking cola or lemonade while watching TV.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I think that given the context of an old lady in a wheelchair who can't get up to change the batteries in her TV remote control, the meaning of 'energy' for 'pop' is rather unlikely.
    If she has had to change the channel by pushing herself in the wheelchair across the room and back several times, she may not have enough energy to do it again.
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, it seems pretty clear that the lady is in need of a soft drink. As a side issue, pretty few people still refer to fizzy drinks (sodas) as 'pop' any longer, and those who do are often using it in an ironic capacity.
    I suppose the word 'pop' is in keeping with the (sadly) somewhat defunct names of 'Olive' and 'Doreen'.
     

    Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    I always had the impression that 'pop' was quite a regional word (I'm from the Midlands) but as far as I know it is still in wide use. A few weeks ago I heard my niece ask her daughter if she would like a drink of pop.
    Not forgetting the expression 'to go off like a bottle of pop'.
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    Well you maybe entirely correct. I was merely reporting my sense of not having heard it in many a moon. Bear in mind that, like names, these things ebb and flow in cycles, and it could be that 'pop' is due a revival.
    I've just checked a Northern Irish sitting room, where I have been assured that the regional umbrella term for all such drinks is 'lemonade'.
     

    Hau Ruck

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Yes, it seems pretty clear that the lady is in need of a soft drink. As a side issue, pretty few people still refer to fizzy drinks (sodas) as 'pop' any longer, and those who do are often using it in an ironic capacity.
    I suppose the word 'pop' is in keeping with the (sadly) somewhat defunct names of 'Olive' and 'Doreen'.
    I'd have to greatly disagree with this. In the Midwest of America, it's way too common. I, myself, say soda. An alarming number of people here (the Midwest) say pop. It's also very common in the North. Every time someone says "pop", I cringe. I hate that word. :)

    It's been passed on as vernacular for many generations from what I gather. Definitely back to the great grandparents of my generation at least.
     

    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Right, ewie, pep is the word I knew for energy, not pop, although pwmeek, Filsmith, and PaulQ here say pop could mean energy as well. Again, though, I can't find any dictionary entry to say that -- which might not mean much, because, as Filsmith says, pop might be yet another slang word that isn't listed in the dictionaries.
    Many thanks, everyone, for your comments on pop as soda in the UK.
     
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