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Where Does the Name 'Soda City' Come From?

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Columbia has numerous nicknames.

Names like Cola, The River City, Capital City, among other, but the one that seems to stand out from the rest, is "Soda City." but where does that name come from?

"I believe it probably came from the abbreviation 'Cola,'" says John Sherrer with Historic Columbia.

So the question is, could it really be that simple? Could the city's name of Columbia be shortened to Cola, and then translated to "soda," ushering in the name "Soda City?" Apparently it is exactly that simple.

Sherrer says, "I think nicknames are sometimes developed. And then pretty long before you know it, everybody's saying it."

But apparently the term itself isn't that old.

"It was really during the later 1990's that I heard the term 'Soda City' have greater traction in common conversation," Sherrer remembers.

While no one seems to be sure who actually coined the phrase originally, what we do know is that it stuck, and is being used as a very clever, and successful marketing tool for the city.

"We've had tag lines such as, 'where friendliness flows.' We've had tag lines such as, 'famously hot,' but I think regardless as to what you call Columbia, we hope you call Columbia home," says Sherrer.

Interestingly, the nickname "Cola" is actually recognized by the United States Post Office. So if you don't feel like spelling out the whole name of Columbia on your envelopes, you can just get away with writing "Cola."

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