Date: Mon, 16 May 1994 15:01:20 -0400


Subject: pop -- aka "dope" in these parts

I just read the last few days ADS communications. To my surprise, there

was no mention of "dope," the area generic term for "canned or bottled,

usu. carbonated, non-alcoholic beverage." I am not certain I had ever

heard the term before I moved to Knoxville in 1974. The term is not

as widely used as "ink-pen"--certainly, younger urban speakers do not use

it--but the term is widely used by older and rural speakers. One day a

few years ago I was looking for a checkout lane at a local Krogers

(Kroger's, if you prefer). There were some groceries sitting alone.

In a moment a woman came up clutching several 2-liter "Coca-Colas" in her

arms. SHe said, apparently apologetically, "I wanted to get me some

more dopers." It's usually just "dope," though I also occasionally

hear "brown doper" or "orange doper" (for cola drinks or what some

people still call "big oranges"). It seems that Coca-Cola originally

either did ordid not contain codeine (I've read a lot about it, but

nothing seems dispositive), and that's whre the term originated. One

explanation is that the local moonshiners were afraid the popularity of

Coca-Cola would interfere with profits, so they started the rumor. Another

explanation is that the original formula DID contain "dope." Anyway, I

wanted you to know that the term is alive and well, though probably shrinking

in distribution and frequency. When I mention the term in undergraduate

classes, most of my students are familiar with it.

Bethany Dumas (in%"dumasb[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]")