I found an interesting question on someone’s Facebook page this morning regarding my state’s capital city of Columbia: “Which nickname do you prefer: Cola-town or Soda City?”
The traditional abbreviation for Columbia for decades has been “Cola.,” which leads some to refer to it as “Colatown.” We also refer to it, when we feel the need to refer to Columbia as something other than Columbia, as “the Capital City.” Charlotte, North Carolina, named in honor of honor of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had become queen consort of King George III, is nicknamed “the Queen City.”
Colatown makes sense when you know the “Cola” abbreviation; otherwise, it leads one to wonder what special connection Columbia, South Carolina, has to the soft drink industry.
“Soda City,” as you have surely figured out, takes the “Cola” part and spins it into a pun that can only lead to soft drink confusion. When I think of a town deserving of the “Soda City” nickname, I think of Atlanta, the birthplace of Coca-Cola. But maybe that’s just me.
Either way, when you must have a nickname based on another nickname, that might just be an indication that you’re being far too cute in referring to a specific city.
Why not just call it “Columbia.” That’s its name, after all.