Date: Tue, 4 Feb 1997 10:29:32 -0500


Subject: cold drinks

ok, this is NOT intended as a call for all to bring up pop and soda

and coke and tonic and soft drink and so forth (we've done those to

death, thank you). but i do have a query about another regional term

for soft drinky things: cold drink. the stress on these is as for a

compound noun, rather than an adj + noun.

this is what i know:

you hear "cold drink" in south africa, but the more "south african

english" term is "cool drink" or "cooldrink". because of the stress

pattern, you often see "cold drink" spelt "coldrink", although this is

not standard spelling.

south africans tell me that "cold drink" is more UK and "cool

drink" is more SA.

american heritage says "cold drink" is "southern US".

none of the UK dictionaries i have (concise oxford, collins concise,

oxford advanced learners) has "cold drink", suggesting that it's not

UK. (but then again, none of my US dictionaries has "candy bar".)

none of my SA dictionaries (D of SA english, D of SAE on historical

principles, south african pocket oxford) has "cold drink", but all

have "cool drink"--suggesting that they see the latter as not being

particularly south african, but general (british) english. (but then

again, there are other SAisms they've missed.)

SA "cool drink" seems to be a calque from afrikaans "koel-drank".

"cool drink" used for fizzy drinks or other softdrinks, less often

includes juice. also used as term for "a can of..." (eg, "how many

cooldrinks are left?").


with all that background, can anyone give me assurance or

(preferably) evidence that "cold drink" is or is not used in

- southern u.s. (is this current?)

- united kingdom

- other commonwealth englishes

if "cold drink" is not UK, then it might be a more distant relation

of "koel-drank", which SAE spkrs fancy is UK since it's less like


back from 9 weeks in the u.s. and as verbose as ever,