Which of the following is more natural for a customer to use at a coffee shop?

a. Do you offer free refills on coffee?

b. Is your coffee bottomless?

  • 1
    I think it would be the coffee pot which is bottomless. – Weather Vane Oct 7 '18 at 11:09

bottomless in this context is late 20th century ad-speak. It isn't really a "natural" idiom that has been used for centuries.

P.S. Although I agree with Weather Vane that it is the pot (or the mug) that is bottomless, you might well see a poster or a billboard advertising BOTTOMLESS COFFEE at a donut shop or fast-food restaurant.

P.P.S. A speaker might ask the question in either way. It is not uncommon for speakers to use the ad-speak that saturates commercial culture. "Free refills" would be understood anywhere. If you were to ask "Is your coffee bottomless?" in an area which is not saturated with ad-speak (they are few and far between) you might get a strange look.

  • Does that mean option (a) is natural? – Apollyon Oct 7 '18 at 11:27
  • "Free refills" is also a phrase that became popular in the second half of the 20th century. But the word refill (with medical prescriptions and beverages) is in common use now, so that sentence is natural enough, at least in AmE. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 7 '18 at 11:31
  • In a coffee shop or fast food restaurant, a customer would ask "Do you offer free refills on coffee," not "Is your coffee bottomless," right? – Apollyon Oct 7 '18 at 11:32
  • I've added a second postscript. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 7 '18 at 11:42
  • On a poster is it common to see "bottomless" to go with other drinks like "soda"? – Apollyon Oct 7 '18 at 12:21

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