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What The Doctor Ordered

defective yeti has long been on the forefront of linguistic innovation, bringing you such indispensable neologisms as stuplimity, petable, and misfortunation. And whenever there is a void in the public vernacular, this website shall boldly stride forth to ... okay, blah blah blah, you get the picture.

Anyway, you know what I'm sick of saying? "Dr-Pepper-or-Mr-Pibb."

That's my drink of choice, but I'm not particular enough to distinguish between the two. So when ordering one, in a restaurant or at the drive-thru, I have to tack the two already overly-long names together with a conjunction and cough them both up at once.

Of course I could just order one or the other. But since I invariably choose the one the eatery doesn't carry (I just can't seem to remember which multi-national soft drink corporation owns which multi-national fast food chain) the cashier then has to ask "Is [the other one] okay?" and I have no choice but to give a long, exasperated sigh and say "Yes, [the other one] is okay -- duh! Jesus. And you'd better not put any pickles on my Barbarque California Falafel because I said NO pickles and that shit is nasty."

You don't have this problem with other drinks, because they all have generic names. Coke and Pepsi are "cola"; Cherry Coke and Wild Cherry Pepsi are "cherry cola"; Barq's and Hires and A&W and Mug are all "root beer." Orange drinks are "orange drinks" and iced tea is "iced tea." I could even get a 7-Up or Sprite by saying "lemon-lime drink," though I'd sooner drink ink right from the squid than order either one. But at least they have a generic.

I guess it's up to me to come up with a word that encompasses this distinct subgenre of soft drink. So I asked myself, what characteristic do all these drinks have in common? A vaguely prune / bubble-gumish flavor, sure -- but what really sets them apart? Answer: they all have titles. Dr. Pepper, Mr. Pibb, Dr. Becker, Mr. Ahhh, and all the rest -- they have all earned a doctorate, or at least the right to be called by an honorific. They are all, in fact, "titled colas" -- or, as we shall be calling them henceforth -- "tytolas."

But this paradigm shift in soft drink nomenclature will only occur if everyone participates. So the next time you're shouting at a speaker at the Taco Barn's drive-thru, ask for a tytola. They may not understand what you want right away, but just keep repeating it -- they'll catch on after you've said it a dozen or two times. The tytola revolution will take time, yes. But if we all work together, we can build a better place, a world where, god willing, my son will never have to utter the phrase "Dr-Pepper-or-Mr-Pibb." And isn't that the most any parent could hope for?

Posted on March 30, 2005 to Neologisms


This may be the first viable solution offered for the most pressing social issue of our time. To have a one-word generic ... such freedom.

Posted by: Scoots on March 31, 2005 10:03 PM

Thank you for linking fakedrpepper.com -- a friend and I were just talking about Dr. Thunder and Skipper.

Posted by: Ariel on March 31, 2005 10:31 PM

It's official, before you were just eccentric, now you are bat-sh*t insane.

Posted by: Patrcik on March 31, 2005 10:47 PM

BTW, my previous comment shouldn't be construed as an insult.

I'm totally jealous.

Posted by: Patrick on March 31, 2005 10:47 PM

Couldn't you have thought of something a little less lurid sounding, Matt?
If I asked the waitress at my local café if she had a 'tytola', she'd probably slap me in the face and call the management.

Posted by: Lung the Younger on March 31, 2005 11:30 PM

I'm English, and as such don't have to worry about such things as choice, but aren't they essentially root-beers?

Posted by: paul on March 31, 2005 11:46 PM

Luckily this problem doesn't exist in Australia due the fact no one drink carbonated prune juice.

However, I'd like to weigh in as far as imaginary words go with 'precautious'; it's a word my younger brother thought existed for years. I've become rather fond of it myself. It of course means either, to be extra cautious or to take precautions.

Posted by: Michelle on March 31, 2005 11:49 PM

Why are they 'colas' specifically? surely that is the one thing that they definitely aren't?

Posted by: Stephen Brophy on April 1, 2005 1:26 AM

that's so weird - just reading about Mitch Hedberg's death and he had the ultimate line about Dr Pepper:

"Mr. Pibb is a poor imitation of Dr. Pepper. Dude didn't even get his degree"


he will be missed.

Posted by: Rob on April 1, 2005 1:27 AM

Aw, I was hoping against hope that maybe that was an awful April Fools' joke. =( Mitch was a favorite of mine too.

You're a Pepper! I'm a Pepper! I've always thought of Dr. Pepper as a cherry cola. It just tastes different that other cherry colas. It's definitely not root beer or prune juice. It reminds me of amaretto. I think "Red Fusion" is extra cherry, and "Diet Cherry-Vanilla Dr. Pepper" has extra cherry plus vanilla. What has me puzzled is that the website says "Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper is the first in a series of exciting new Soda Fountain Classics from Dr. Pepper coming soon to a soda fountain near you."

Posted by: Melissa on April 1, 2005 2:35 AM

It just occurred to me Michelle the 'root-beer' should sell especially well in Australia, as it describes the only two things that really motivate the average Australian male.

Posted by: Lung the Younger on April 1, 2005 3:12 AM

Dude, I totally dig your freaky soda incident. That sucks bigtime. Trying to train a defective public, especially over caffeined, over tweeked, narcoleptic, undersexed, pre-pubecent newbies makign minimum wage to say a new word is super hard, but with freaks like you on our side, I'm confident we can achieve the popularity of acronyms such as wtf, fu, and certainly one day my favorite: wte
That's short for White Trash Extraordinaire, for the untrendy folk.

And I'm sure you already know about illwillpress.com cause, lets face it... ur twisted. And I like it.

Posted by: shebuah on April 1, 2005 3:22 AM

I think "sircola" is easier to say and sounds classier. Or maybe "coca-colon" (if you drink this stuff, you know what I mean).

Posted by: JP on April 1, 2005 3:38 AM

Mr. Pibb around these parts has been renamed Pibb Extra, or some such garbage. The Safeway cheapo version of Dr. Pepper is "Dr. Bob."

Posted by: Buck on April 1, 2005 5:01 AM


Posted by: JP on April 1, 2005 5:17 AM

Dr Pepper is flavoured with spices and caramel. It has no cherry, no cola, and no prune juice. Then again Coca Cola has no real coca in it anymore, but at least they synthesise some.

Posted by: Rory Parle on April 1, 2005 5:23 AM

We have no Mr. Pibb or other Dr. Pepper imitators here in New England. I never knew how easy we had it!

Posted by: Jennifer A on April 1, 2005 6:36 AM

Dr. Pepper was originally a prune juice derivative. The lables were once printed with "10 4 7", as those were the times of day you were supposed to drink it in order to recieve maximum health benefits from the good doctor.
maybe you could call them Prunolas
or prun'las for short.

Posted by: superdude on April 1, 2005 6:50 AM


I have a solution. Order a cola!


Posted by: Mike on April 1, 2005 7:42 AM

Heavens to Betsy! All Southerners know that we'd rather die than ask for "cola." What IS cola? In fact, what is soda, soda pop or any other derivative? It is all "Coke." And then you clarify what kind of coke you want. Ex: "I'd like a coke." "What kind of coke would you like?" "A Sprite, please." And Mr. Pibb (or Pibb Extra) is the biggest pansy copy of the great holy tear that fell from God's eye that was bottled and called, "Dr. Pepper." *By the way, there's a grocery store version called Dr. Thunder. Heartbreaking.

Posted by: Becky on April 1, 2005 8:06 AM

From the roller coaster enthusiast community - "Anticipointment" - Heightened anticipation for a new roller coaster, which turns out to be something of a dud when actually ridden.

Originated on the rec.roller-coaster newsgroup on USENET.

Okay, back to the Dr Pepper discussion. My favorite drink of all time. I ask for Dr Pepper, and let them do the talking if they have Mr. Pibb instead. "Dr Pepper, please.......sure."

Oh, and it's no longer Mr. Pibb. It's now Pibb Xtreme. Because the X makes it better, I guess.

Posted by: Keith on April 1, 2005 8:09 AM

They still make Mr. Pibb? I thought that went out with moon boots and leg warmers.

Posted by: Eggo Kahn on April 1, 2005 8:39 AM

Anyone selling or buying either Mr. Pibb or Dr. Pepper is a Big W.O.B.O (Waste Of Breathable Oxygen)

Who can drink that Crap??!!??

Give me a Coke!

Posted by: Coke-a-holic on April 1, 2005 8:55 AM

Ooo, I like "anticipointment" a lot. Handy, what with Fantastic Four, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Revenge of the Sith all on the horizon.

Posted by: Matthew on April 1, 2005 8:59 AM

Well, you could just have "Dr. Pepper" as the generic...like Xerox and Kleenex and Sunny Delite.

Posted by: Miel on April 1, 2005 10:01 AM

They're supposed to be prune-flavored? I always thought they were supposed to be "cinnamon".

And I totally agree. "Tytola" is the way to go.

Posted by: Mayinwinter on April 1, 2005 10:09 AM

A few years ago, Internet Legend James "Kibo" Parry did a Dr. Pepper Clone Taste Test that has only about 17 clones, but is worth a quick read.

Posted by: LAN3 on April 1, 2005 10:11 AM

I live in Nebraska.. and you can't get away with Cola here.. so HERE you have to say Coke or Pepsi or Pibb or Pepper, And IF you want cherry ANYTHING you have to specify natural or grenadine.. (they can really screw up coke with too much granadine). i would assume the 7up sprite thing goes too, but i never order it.

Posted by: shad the guy on April 1, 2005 10:27 AM

They say insanity, I say BRILLIANT. It's all I drink as well.

Posted by: Anne on April 1, 2005 10:40 AM

The association of Dr Pepper with root beer is a pet peeve of mine. "I'll have a Dr Pepper." "We don't have Dr Pepper. Is root beer OK?" No, asswipe, it's not! What the hell do the two have to do with one another? You might as well ask me if I'd rather have hot tea.

Posted by: Beth on April 1, 2005 10:52 AM

Ditto Beth... Dr. Pepper is nothing like Root Beer.

Also, Dr. Pepper NEVER had prune juice in it. EVER. I'm not sure where that stupid story came from, but it's totally false. They will tell you at the Dr. Pepper museum in Waco!

Mr. Pipp is evil. Long live Dr. Pepper!

Posted by: amy on April 1, 2005 11:02 AM

Also, no, I cannot type or spell properly. LoL.

Posted by: amy on April 1, 2005 11:04 AM

I have to chime in on the cola - it isn't cola or pop or soda. Coke. Becky was right on. You ask for a coke and then specify; Dr. Pepper is the exception. Also, Mr. Pibb tastes nothing like Dr. Pepper. What gets me is when they carry Mr. instead of Dr. and DON'T TELL YOU.

Posted by: WindyLou on April 1, 2005 11:08 AM

An even sneakier alternative could be to order a "Dr. Pibb" - no matter which is actually offered, the waiter/waitress/drive thru jockey will just assume you mispronounced their version.

Posted by: Amanda on April 1, 2005 11:35 AM

I know people who really use the expression, "flustrated." Cross between flustered and frustrated. Perhaps you feel that way when attempting to order your drink of choice.

Posted by: Anita on April 1, 2005 11:42 AM

Just count yourself lucky you can order Dr Pepper anywhere. Up here in Canada you don't find the stuff except in bottles or cans at the local depaneur. I've never seen Dr Pepper on tap, or in bottle at any major fast food place. In Quebec the situation is worse. The word "pepper" has long been a slur in the ever lasting language wars. Dr Pepper is rarely found outside of the Montreal area and almost never in rural, read: french, areas.

Posted by: Lucky Ba$$tards on April 1, 2005 11:44 AM

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks Sprite (et al) tastes like sugared dirt water (as opposed to dirty sugar water which tastes COMPLETELY different).

Posted by: A J on April 1, 2005 12:25 PM

W.O.B.O. speaking here. I so hate it when I order a Dr. Pepper, and the person behind the counter assumes that Mr. Pibb is acceptable. I've tasted that abomination, and it is no Dr. Pepper. I think if somebody asked me if I wanted a root beer instead, I'd have to smack them. lol Dr. Thunder just makes me want to cry.

Around these parts, a soda means what it is: a carbonated beverage. If you want a Coke, you order a Coke, if you want a Dr.P, then you order a Dr.P, and so on.

Posted by: Esther on April 1, 2005 2:31 PM

How about "conquisition?"

Posted by: Andrew on April 1, 2005 3:12 PM

Dr Pepper: Not prune juice, now or ever. (Snopes)

Also according to that article: Dr Pepper officially doesn't have a period in the name. Who knew?

"Tytola": It's not just easier to say, it's easier to spell.

Posted by: Scott on April 1, 2005 3:45 PM

I think the Dr. Pibb is the best idea. "Tytola" sounds a bit suggestive.

Posted by: brendan on April 1, 2005 6:53 PM

Dr. Pibber? Say it out loud.

Sometimes I order it like this, "Just give me the stuff with the goddamn maroon label."

"Sircola" seems to work. Sing it out like those "Ricola" throat lozenge commercials.

Posted by: Davey on April 1, 2005 7:02 PM

I hate it when you order a Dr. Pepper and the server asks you if root beer is ok - AS IF!

Posted by: Anonymous on April 2, 2005 10:42 AM

USDA publishes extensive data on food and nutrients. According to them, the generic name is 'pepper-type beverage'.

Posted by: kato on April 2, 2005 12:48 PM

Do you really think Mr. Pibb is an equal substitute for Dr. Pepper? I don't think so at all, but perhaps I should do a taste test. Mr. Pibb isn't sold alot of places around here in Philly.

Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2005 5:58 PM

Actually we do have a Dr. Pepper alternative in New England (or at least down here in Maine) - Moxie! Which kinda puts the whole "tytola" thing in doubt if you ask me. (Great web site by the way - more laughts than anything else I've found on the web).

Posted by: gruve on April 2, 2005 9:10 PM

I've often wondered A) Is Dr. Pepper an M.D. or a PhD ??; and
B) Is Mr. Pibb his undereducated brother.


Also, I've had Moxie up in New England. I say ship it back to Olde England. That stuff is whack - and I don't drop outdated street slang like "whack" lightly.
I have a friend who lives in Boston who has a tattoo of the moxie logo.
Moxie, Sox and Romney? What is WRONG with you people up there?
Oh, and speaking of beverage, I recently ordered a coffee in Massachusetts and the woman behind the counter asked me if I wanted a "regular" coffee. Now, in my world "regular" is the opposite of decaf. Not so in New England apparently. What I got in my soon to be discarded cup was a coffee with cream and 2 sugars. Native Massachusians insisted that I had, in fact, ordered this liquid atrocity.
The horror. I guess when people think like that maybe Romney could make sense - either that or the bitterness that their coffee now lacks is replaced in USRDA quantities by a sad and bitter Governor.

Rant concluded . . . tension fading . . .

Posted by: Pete S on April 4, 2005 6:11 AM

When I was a kid we took an RV trip around the US with a British family who we knew. I ordered a Dr Pepper at one point and started enjoying it. The daughter of the British family looked askance at me (as she often did, particularly when we offered her sour cream) and asked what Dr Pepper was. I explained to her that Dr Pepper was in fact Dr Pepper. That's what it was. She did not except this answer and, against form, decided to have a taste. She immediately brightened and said..."Oh! It's cherryade! If I'd known it was cherryade I would have ordered it too." So according to her the Brits have a generic name and it is cherryade. Yes we all know it doesn't have cherries in it and so did she...and she was well aware that that was different from cherry-cola...see it having a different name. "Duh" she seemed to say. So maybe they call it cherryade even though it is neither cherry nor an ade. But you have to forgive them. They're British.

To answer the above question, Dr Pepper is an M.D. see the supposed medicinal benefits and Mr Pibb is not his undereducated brother, if he was he would be Mr Pepper. He could be a cousin. And don't forget, higher education, while very valuable, is not always the best choice for everyone. Mr Pibb could have gained some weighty, important life education. It is simply unfortunate that he didn't, in his life travels, learn to taste better.

Bless you Mr. Hedberg...wherever you are. I would wish that the reports of your death had been greatly exaggerated...but if not I will simply assume you are on the other side of the wall and we just can't open the wall to hear you again.

Posted by: Arthur Delaney on April 4, 2005 1:04 PM

You can ruminate all you'd like, but everything discussed here pales in comparison to BIRCH BEER.

Posted by: harold_ikes on April 4, 2005 1:11 PM

Tytolas! I like it and will use it!

Loved the post - us Dr./Mr. fans have to go through this all too often and we needed a solution - you have given us one.

Thank you.

Posted by: Monkey on April 5, 2005 10:24 AM


Posted by: Herr Doktor Soda, Esq on April 5, 2005 12:23 PM

Not sure if this was covered already (too many comments to read - would you mind getting less readers?), but that genre of drink is known as a "pepper cola." Seriously. I don't really know why, as it has nothing to do with peppers.

Posted by: BT on April 5, 2005 4:50 PM

Dude - how many comments do you get - you're a phenomena!

Posted by: Moose on April 14, 2005 6:16 AM