AskDefine | Define cola

Dictionary Definition

cola See colonCola


1 large genus of African trees bearing kola nuts [syn: genus Cola]
2 carbonated drink flavored with extract from Kola nuts (`dope' is a southernism in the United States) [syn: dope]colon


1 the part of the large intestine between the cecum and the rectum; it extracts moisture from food residues before they are excreted
2 the basic unit of money in El Salvador; equal to 100 centavos [syn: El Salvadoran colon]
3 the basic unit of money in Costa Rica; equal to 100 centimos [syn: Costa Rican colon]
4 a port city at the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal [syn: Aspinwall]
5 a punctuation mark (:) used after a word introducing a series or an example or an explanation (or after the salutation of a business letter) [also: colones (pl), cola (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. cost of living allowance


  1. Plural of colon
  2. a beverage or a drink made with caramel, and carbonated water.
  3. The kola nut (cola nut) is the edible seed of several species of tropical trees of the Cola genus native to Africa (especially Cola acuminata and Cola nitada). They are cultivated today in both Africa and the American tropics, where they are chewed to retard fatigue and hunger. Kola nuts have a bitter initial taste, then sweet, and also sweeten any food or drink taken immediately afterward. Kola nuts contain caffeine and theobromine and are famous for their use in ‘Cola’ soft drinks. Many soft drink manufacturers now use synthetic chemicals that resemble the flavor of kola nuts.




  1. carry (on the shoulders)


Verb form




  • /ˈkola/

Etymology 1

Vulgar Latin coda, from Latin cauda


  1. tail
  2. line (US); queue (UK)
  3. glue.
*rabo*fila *pegamiento

Verb form


Etymology 2


  1. cola (drink).
  2. cola (cola nut).

Extensive Definition

Cola is a sweet, carbonated drink usually with caramel coloring and containing caffeine.
Originally invented by the druggist John Pemberton, it has become popular worldwide. Today, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and RC Cola have become the major international brands, leading to the drink often being seen as a symbol of the west.
During the Cold War, it was perceived in many countries as a symbol of the American power and culture. As a result, communist and anti-American countries created their own national versions of the cola drinks, such as the Czech and Slovak Kofola or Polish Polo-Cockta. These days Mecca-Cola is marketed as an alternative to U.S. brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola.


Despite the name, the primary flavoring ingredients in a cola drink are sugar, vanilla, lime peel, cinnamon, and orange peel different manufacturers of cola drinks add other trace ingredients to the drink in addition to these flavorings in order to create distinctively different tastes for each brand. Trace flavorings may include orange, nutmeg, and a wide variety of ingredients, but the base flavorings that most people identify with a cola taste remain vanilla and cinnamon. Kola nuts, which have a bitter taste, contribute little or no flavor to most cola recipes. Acidity is often provided by phosphoric acid, sometimes accompanied by citric or other isolated acids.
Inexpensive colas may contain only vanilla and cinnamon as flavorings, which provide a simple cola taste . Many cola drink recipes are closely-guarded secrets of their manufacturers, with the recipe used by Coca-Cola being perhaps the most famous in this respect.
In addition to sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, many other sweeteners may be used as the sweetening ingredient in cola, including sugar, stevia, or an artificial sweetener depending on product and market. "Sugar-free" or "diet" colas contain artificial sweeteners only.


The most successful brands of cola are Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and RC Cola. There are too many local brands to list, made by small regional producers but certain countries and continents have variants produced on a mass scale for large populations. Many generic manufacturers of cola around the world now exist. Dr Pepper is not a cola brand and has 23 distinct flavors (according to the manufacturer) and found not to be cola in a 1963 U.S. district court case.


  • In the United Kingdom, South Africa and western European countries Virgin Cola was popular in the 1990s but has waned in availability.
  • German brand Afri-Cola had a higher caffeine content (about 250 mg/L) until the product was relaunched with a new formulation in 1999, and has it again since a second relaunch with the original formulation in April 2006.
  • Czech and Slovak Kofola is the third best selling soft-drink in their markets behind Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
  • Cuba Cola is the native cola of Sweden.
  • Turkey's regional cola is Cola Turka.
  • In Romania the local drinks are called American Cola and Adria Cola.
  • Breizh Cola is a local brand from Britanny (France) it offers different and unique flavors like a cloves aroma, bottled in an original cider bottle.
  • In Catalonia Alter Cola

Asia and the Middle East


  • Inca Kola is another brand that is now marketed in many countries by the Coca Cola group; it is the major cola in some South American countries. This bright yellow carbonated beverage is especially popular in Peru, which was once the heartland of the Inca (or Inka) Empire. Inca Kola was only recently bought by Coca-Cola.
  • There is also an open source recipe for a cola drink, OpenCola.
  • tuKola and Tropicola are brands from Cuba (also sold widely in Italy)
  • Royal Crown (RC Cola) is widely available in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Chemical reactions

Being carbonated, colas are acidic (carbonic acid is formed when carbon dioxide dissolves in water), and so can react violently with basic chemicals, such as baking soda. Many colas also contain phosphoric acid and/or citric acid, which further increases the acidity. Drinking two or more of these colas per day more than doubled the incidence of kidney disease, while colas containing citric acid did not have an effect.
The Diet Coke and Mentos eruption is an experiment that became popular at the start of the 21st century. Mentos candies and crystalline powders such as sugar and salt when added to cola (usually diet coke), cause fizzing by providing many micronucleation points for the carbon dioxide to leave solution. This however is a physical reaction resulting from the release of dissolved CO2 as opposed to a chemical reaction.
Another experiment involved adding dry ice, providing additional carbon dioxide and can force some of the carbon dioxide present in the drink out of solution, creating an explosion, destroying the bottle.
In either case, mixing these substances with cola (or any other carbonated drink) causes the drink to bubble, creating foam and greatly increasing the pressure in the bottle, resulting in either the bottle or the cap giving way.


The word cola may have been introduced into the mainstream by the major producer Coca-Cola, as they saw their trademark slipping into common use, like other genericized trademarks. They successfully defended the exclusive use of their name and its diminutive form "Coke" by suggesting the alternative of "cola drink" as a generic name for similar types of carbonated soft drinks. The word cola as part of the Coca-Cola trademark may have originated from the kola nuts that were originally used as the source of caffeine, or from when the original recipe contained coca (from which cocaine is derived).


cola in Arabic: كولا
cola in Azerbaijani: Kola
cola in Min Nan: Cola
cola in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Кола (напой)
cola in Catalan: Beguda de cola
cola in Czech: Kola (nápoj)
cola in Welsh: Cola
cola in Danish: Cola
cola in German: Cola
cola in Spanish: Bebida de cola
cola in Esperanto: Kolao
cola in French: Cola
cola in Friulian: Cole
cola in Korean: 콜라
cola in Croatian: Cola
cola in Indonesian: Kola
cola in Icelandic: Kóladrykkur
cola in Italian: Cola (bibita)
cola in Hebrew: קולה (משקה)
cola in Javanese: Kola
cola in Luxembourgish: Cola
cola in Lithuanian: Kola
cola in Dutch: Cola
cola in Japanese: コーラ (飲料)
cola in Norwegian: Cola
cola in Norwegian Nynorsk: Cola
cola in Polish: Cola
cola in Portuguese: Bebida de cola
cola in Kölsch: Kola
cola in Russian: Кола
cola in Simple English: Cola
cola in Finnish: Kolajuoma
cola in Swedish: Cola
cola in Thai: น้ำโคล่า
cola in Turkish: Kola
cola in Ukrainian: Кола (напій)
cola in Chinese: 可乐
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