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noun a drink consisting of flavoured aerated water to which ice-cream has been added, served in a tall glass. Compare ice-cream soda.

Contributor's comments: I have heard spider used in Qld, mainly inner city cafes. I have always used spider but I grew up in Melbourne.

Contributor's comments: Spider has been used for that term in Brisbane since the 70's to my knowledge. My children still call that drink a spider.

Contributor's comments: My grandmother introduced me to the delights of spiders. She came from Orange in NSW. I have used the term all my life but don't know if that is a family usage or location. I mainly grew up on the NSW/Qld border and in the New England Region.

Contributor's comments: In SW Riverina it was a spider, and it is also going strong today in Perth.

Contributor's comments: In the 1950s-60s in South West Riverina a Spider was the only name I knew for soft drink with ice-cream added. Moving to the NSW North West Slopes, bordering on New England, in the 1970s I learned the Lemonade Spider was called Lemonade Soda.

Contributor's comments: McDonalds likes to call them "coke floats" - I think they'd sell more if they called them spiders.

Contributor's comments: I drank spiders as a kid in the 70's, but my mum was from Melbourne and she was the one who started it all with me and my friends in Newcastle.

Contributor's comments: [Perth informant] Is it just me or are their others who remember spiders as being predominantly made with ginger beer. The home made variety, if it made it through a hot spell without exploding in the back shed.

Contributor's comments: Growing up in Kyabram (in northern Victoria) my earliest recollection of a spider (NOT the eight-legged variety) goes back to the early 1960s. It was a glass of softdrink (any flavour, but usually cola), to which a generous dollop of vanilla ice-cream was added.

Contributor's comments: I have also heard it calls a "coke and a float" though the difference is that a spider is served with ice cream in a glass and a bottle of soft drink and you pour the soft drink over the ice cream, a coke and a float is coke served with ice cream in it.

Contributor's comments: I always found these were best when made with raspberry soda of some description. I believe a coke spider with strawberry ice cream was a "red back spider".

Contributor's comments: I first ate/drank spiders in New Zealand in the early 1950s.


In Townsville in the mid-80s, a spider was a person who is like a gothic or goth. They hung out at drag pub and listened to alternative music, wore lots of black and had messy dirty hair. In Brisbane they called them 'swampies".

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