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Is "Cola" feminine or neuter?

I searched a bit on Google, and came up with both feminine and neuter and I'm a bit confused.

I know I can say "Eine Dose Cola" (A can of Cola) but what is Cola's gender?

Ich trinke eine Cola. (feminine)
Ich trinke ein Cola. (neuter)

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    I typically hear das, but I've heard both; LEO seems to corroborate that both are in use. – Richard Mar 23 '17 at 19:46
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    In northern Germany, it's die Cola. In the south, I heard das Cola quite often. Oh, and cola cans are not so common in Germany as there is the Pfand and it's messy to carry back a bag of open cola cans to the shop. – Janka Mar 23 '17 at 20:07
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    It may differ between geographical regions, as well as between social strata. In my understading "eine Cola" (f.) would be the more educated use, "ein Cola" (n.) more trashy, or dialect. But other people can have different perception. – Christian Geiselmann Mar 23 '17 at 20:09
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    I definitely recommend to use a reference as Duden before asking here. – guidot Mar 23 '17 at 20:33
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    @Sharky: Refer to this question and its numerous answers. – guidot Mar 23 '17 at 20:44
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In Germany (aprox. 80 million spreakers) it is feminine, in Austria (aprox. 8.5 million speakers) it is neuter. So most native speakers say

die Cola

but in Austria it is

das Cola

Generally said: Softdrinks are female in Germany, but neuter in Austria.

Famous is »das Cola« from Red Bull. Red Bull is an Austrian Company, and beside the well known yellow energy drink, it also produces its own Cola. And this was its banner some times ago:

das Cola


Addendum

Just to prevent misconceptions:

Neither »die Cola« nor »das Cola« are dialect variations. Both versions are standard German. But German has not one standard, it has tree standards:

  • German German (spoken by 80M people)
  • Austrian German (8.5M speakers)
  • Swiss (Standard) German (5M speakers).

So German is a pluricentric language, like many other languages too (including English). The differences between the three variations go way beyond just the gender of softdrinks, but still are small enough so that a speaker of one variety will understand more than 99% of any other variety.

German German is kind of super-standard. This means: Almost all speakers of the two smaller varieties are bilingual: They actively use their own variety, but they also understand German German (and are able to speak it). This is why you will learn German German if you learn German as a foreign language. It allows you to communicate with everyone who speaks German. You just should know, that there are other variations too.

Standard means: Used to write laws and other official documents, printed in newspaper, spoken by news readers in TV and radio, and taught in schools. It is called "standard", because this languages are standardized: their orthography and grammar rules are written in books. Those rules are binding for students and officers, and they are recommendations for anybody else.

Dialect means: Only spoken language, not used for writing (exception: some song lyrics, poems and other kind of art), only used in private environments, never used for anything official. Dialects are not standardized: There is no set of rules, that is binding or recommended for anybody.

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    How much did Red Bull pay? – Christian Geiselmann Mar 23 '17 at 21:45
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    You can't draw the die/das-Cola line at the border between Germany and Austria. A cola is neuter in most parts of southern Germany and in Switzerland as well. – jarnbjo Mar 23 '17 at 23:02
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    @ChristianGeiselmann What do you mean? Red Bull is Austrian. Why should they "change gender"? – c.p. Mar 24 '17 at 9:40
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    Your edit does not improve your answer in any way. It would have needed a very tiny but also very different edit as it was suggested by @jarnbjo. The only misconception is your suggestive wording that may lead to the impression that das Cola was restricted to Austria which it is not. It is neuter in wide parts of Germany and in Switzerland too. It is even listed as both, fem. and neut. in the Duden. I believe that you should clarify that, as your answer got accepted. – Takkat Mar 24 '17 at 18:19
  • I would even dispute most of the addendum. I can very well generalize my first objection and say that most differences in the German varieties do not follow country borders. Even if the grammar of what Hubert describes as 'standard language' (official documents, newspapers, news readers in radio and television) is mostly the same over the entire German speaking area, there are significant differences in vocabulary and expression. 'Standard language' (SL) in Bavaria has for example much more in common with SL in Austria than SL in North Germany. – jarnbjo Mar 24 '17 at 18:36
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It is as simple as that:

  • In Germany Cola is either neuter or feminine, both do occur and both are correct.
  • In Austria Cola is neuter (possibly not in Vorarlberg as was suggested in a comment).
  • In Switzerland Cola is neuter.

If you want to know why I recommend this question & answer: For new words which are often nouns who sets the gender?

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...and in Switzerland (and Southern Baden) they say "es Cola trinke" which is gender-less but in High-German it is definitely feminine.

High-German = Hochdeutsch

In Germany it is very common to take the almost accent- and dialect-less language spoken in the city of Hanover (Lower Saxony, German 'Hannover' with two 'n') as reference for a clear "Hochdeutsch".

I am from Allgäu in Bavaria/Germany, born and grew up close to Lake of Constance which is a region in Southern Swabia/Schwaben and a melting pot between so called Alemannic and Bavarian dialects and in a range of +/- 100 km along the border to Vorarlberg/Tyrol (which is Austria) you can hear all from "ui/oi Cola trinka" to "ane Cola trinke(n)" (meaning all 'to drink one glass/bottle of a (feminine) Coke). Ergo, it's always feminine to come back to the question of the OP.

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    Ohne ganzen Satz um "es Cola" ist das nicht sehr erhellend. – user unknown Mar 24 '17 at 6:30
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    Da ich auch Schweizer bin, kann ich hier zur Klärung beitragen: "es" ist schweizerdeutsch und heisst auf Deutsch: "ein". "es" ist also der neutrale unbestimmte Artikel im Schweizerdeutschen. (Genus: neutral) - "High-German" bzw. Hochdeutsch sagen wir in der Schweiz, wenn wir die deutsche Schriftsprache meinen, die sich, wie obiges Beispiel mit "es" = "ein" zeigt, stark vom schweizer Dialekt unterscheidet, obwohl der schweizer Dialekt ja auch Deutsch ist. - Und hier wäre noch ein ganzer Satz auf Schweizerdeutsch: "I trenke es Cola." – Wogehu Mar 24 '17 at 9:39
  • Kein Mensch hat nach irgendwelchen Dialekt-Varianten gefragt. Weder die im überwiegenden Teil Deutschlands gebräuchliche Form »die Cola« noch die in südlicheren Gegenden verwendete Form »das Cola« sind Dialekt-Versionen, sondern es sind beides hochdeutsche (im Sinn von standarddeutsch) Ausdrücke. – Hubert Schölnast Mar 24 '17 at 15:03
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    Stimmt sofern man den folgenden Spruch ignoriert... "Eine Sprache ist nur ein Dialekt mit Armee" ...was die lieben Eidgenossen sicher mit Schmunzeln bestätigen würden. Wenn ich Ihnen 100% Recht belasse, hat die "Austria"-Variante hier aber auch nichts zu suchen! Ich arbeite seit 15 Jahren in Vorarlberg und da spielt die schleichwerbende Red-Bull nur eine "abfüllende" Rolle und die Cola ist auch hier schön weiblich. – tildawn Mar 24 '17 at 15:25
  • @Wogehu: Die Notation "es" = "ein" legt nahe, dass auch "ein" = "es" gilt. Ist das so? M.a.W.: Sagt man "es" auch bei maskulinen Substantiven? Ist Whiskey männlich? "I trenke es Whiskey"? – user unknown Mar 24 '17 at 22:06

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