Trivia

Hard

What Early Soft Drink Brand Lives On As A Slang Term?

Swerve
Glitz
Molly
Moxie
The Moxie logo with the "Moxie Man" pointing at the viewer.
F. M. Archer/Wikimedia

Answer: Moxie

Moxie soda was one of the earliest mass-produced carbonated sodas in the United States. Introduced in 1876, it enjoyed several decades of popularity in the early 20th century. Notable fans of the punchy soda included President Calvin Coolidge, major league ball player Ted Williams, and children’s author E.B White. Popularity of the drink waned in the 1930s and it never quite recovered (although it does enjoy small pockets of regional loyalty to this day and is produced by six bottlers in the U.S.)

While the soda itself is at constant risk of slipping into the annals of soda history, the name has snuck into popular culture. If you’ve spent any time in regions of the country where Moxie remains popular, especially in major cities along the East Coast, you’ve surely heard someone describe a person as having moxie. Since the 1930s, the word has taken on a slang meaning of “courage, determination, energy, or spunk” and is freely substituted in Eastern-U.S. speech as a descriptor indicating the person in question is in possession of those qualities.

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