from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Cocaine.
  • transitive verb To affect or intoxicate with cocaine.
  • noun The solid residue of impure carbon obtained from bituminous coal and other carbonaceous materials after removal of volatile material by destructive distillation. It is used as a fuel and in making steel.
  • transitive & intransitive verb To convert or be converted into coke.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To convert (coal) into coke.
  • To become coke; be convertible into coke: as, a coking coal.
  • Sometimes spelled coak.
  • noun A Middle English form of cook.
  • noun The solid product of the carbonization of coal, bearing the same relation to that substance that charcoal does to wood.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To convert into coke.
  • noun Mineral coal charred, or depriver of its bitumen, sulphur, or other volatile matter by roasting in a kiln or oven, or by distillation, as in gas works. It is lagerly used where � smokeless fire is required.
  • noun the coke formed in gas retorts, as distinguished from that made in ovens.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun informal, countable any cola-flavored drink, especially Coca-Cola.
  • noun southern US any soft drink
  • noun uncountable Solid residue from roasting coal in a coke oven; used principally as a fuel and in the production of steel and formerly as a domestic fuel.
  • verb transitive To produce coke from coal.
  • verb intransitive To turn into coke.
  • noun informal, slang, uncountable cocaine.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun carbon fuel produced by distillation of coal
  • noun Coca Cola is a trademarked cola
  • noun street names for cocaine
  • verb become coke


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Perhaps from Middle English colk, core.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1909, American company Coca-Cola

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Perhaps from Middle English colke.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1908, American English


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  • This term was synonymous with soda where I grew up (SC). If you asked for a coke at a drug store soda fountain you'd be asked "what kind?"

    October 10, 2007

  • How do you order a Coca-Cola Classic without the hassle of repeating yourself?

    October 10, 2007

  • Branding being what it is nowadays, the synonymous relationship has disappeared. I was referring to a time when your only choices were Coke, Pepsi, RC Cola, and Cheerwine, all made from syrup and seltzer at the counter. I'm so very old...

    October 10, 2007

  • You say "regular."

    October 10, 2007

  • As in, "I want a regular coke"? How quaint. ;-)

    October 10, 2007

  • In Italy (and probably other European countries) when you ask for water, you'll get the return question, "Gas?" Meaning, do you want carbonated or non-carbonated ("still") water?

    But at first I thought the waiter was asking a rather personal question.

    October 10, 2007

  • You mean like tonic? People drink that straight? Gross.

    October 10, 2007

  • If the waiter doesn't ask, you'll get "gas" by default. We learned to always specify beforehand because, like uselessness, I think drinking carbonated water is grotty.

    October 10, 2007

  • Well, not exactly tonic. I believe tonic has quinine added, while carbonated water is just...well, carbonated water. At least around here.

    I like it, but don't drink it much. Besides, the bubbles in the carbonated water I drank overseas were much smaller and less likely to blow out your sinuses than the bubbles in what you get in the States.

    October 10, 2007

  • No! Tonic is not soda (carbonated) water. Tonic is carbed water made bitter by the addition of quinine and (usually but detrimentally) sweetened. You'd have to be a bit loopy to drink it without gin.

    Soda water is just water with gas, and this is fine on its own. I find it great for hangovers.

    I met an American once who referred to all carbonated drinks as "coke". When I was a kid we had the generic term pop, but that's gone out of fashion in the UK now, while remaining fairly current in Canada where I live.

    Edit: rt beat me to it.

    October 10, 2007

  • Oh. How uncultured I am. ;-) So are we basically talking about seltzer then? I've enjoyed flavored seltzers in the past, but I don't think I'd like it plain. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

    October 10, 2007

  • It's especially good with ice cream and a bit of chocolate syrup. :-D

    October 10, 2007

  • Tonic is vile. Seltzer, at least American seltzer, is way gassier than the nice mineral water con gasso that I enjoyed in Italy. Though as a rule, I asked for aqua minerale naturale and not con gasso, the bubbles were far smaller, making the drink far easier to enjoy, because one doesn't become a volcanic eructation machine.

    Wait... why is this on the coke page?!

    October 10, 2007

  • Because I hijacked the discussion some time ago (purely unintentionally). See below.

    October 10, 2007

  • Oh come now, c_b, do you still expect conversations to stay on-topic around here? More to the point, do you want them to? :-P

    October 11, 2007

  • skipvia, all you had to do was say Cheerwine and we'da known what state you was from. ;)

    I believe that strictly speaking soda has sodium bicarb to make the fizz (hence the name, yes?) and that there is a water that is just aerated, but I am not sure what it is called.

    October 11, 2007

  • RC (Royal Crown) Cola might have narrowed it down to a region for you, but Cheerwine should have nailed it. I think it's still being produced down there.

    If you want to get very specific, think Blenheim Ginger Ale. You used to have to drive to Blenhein, SC to find it. It was "discovered" in the 80's and is now available nationwide, even in a diet version. Sad...

    October 11, 2007

  • Cheerwine is still around and kicking, although you can only find Diet Cheerwine in the Carolinas.

    Oh Colleen, would you say, "I want a regular diet Coke"? Just wondering.

    October 11, 2007