What's the phrasal verb for carbonated drinks exploding out of the can after being shaken? "Exploded out" doesn't sound right, because it doesn't sound idiomatic. I also checked pop off, but it seems to be used for physical non-liquid things like the cork of a champagne bottle.

For example:

The drink ____ out of the can after he shook the diet coke can and opened it.


7 Answers 7


I suggest the word spew which is defined by Lexico as


1 Expel large quantities of (something) rapidly and forcibly.
buses were spewing out black clouds of exhaust

Edit: as commented, a better dictionary reference is the next item in the same definition.

1.1 Be poured or forced out in large quantities.
great screeds of paper spewed out of the computer

Your sentence could be

The drink spewed out [of the can] after he shook the diet coke can and opened it.

  • 1
    The definition you give would really apply more to the object doing the spewing (the can) more than the object being spewed (the drink). Perhaps consider the second definition? "Be poured or forced out in large quantities. ‘great screeds of paper spewed out of the computer’ " Commented Jul 15, 2019 at 4:25
  • 3
    Spew is a fun one too, but be aware it is often synonymous with vomit, which may give it a slightly negative nuance best used with unpleasant or noxious substances.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jul 15, 2019 at 15:30
  • @Andrew since when was a spewing coke can a positive experience? Commented Jul 15, 2019 at 16:30
  • @WeatherVane Well, what I mean is that you paint a particularly fun picture if you said something like, "The can vomited coke all over her new blouse". But my comment wasn't meant as criticism of your answer (which I upvoted) just a note on the nuance of the word.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jul 15, 2019 at 16:33
  • @Nanigashi they can be changed, if it is not a different answer, and I now have. Thank you for the reminder. Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 18:07

Possibly one of "spray", "fizz", "surge", "foam", depending on how large/strong the flow of liquid, along with a preposition like "out", "from", or "over", depending on how you describe the movement of the liquid.

Why does a shaken soda fizz more than an unshaken one?

Does Tapping a Soda Can Prevent it from Foaming Over?

when the shaken can is opened, there will be a surge of cola and foam out of the opening.

"Explode" is also used:

After shaking a soda bottle/can, what makes the soda explode out when you open it?

  • 3
    +1 for just keeping it simple with "exploded". In AmEn anyways, that's relatively common and immediately understood.
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Jul 15, 2019 at 15:07
  • 2
    I like three of the solutions in this answer (fizz, spray, explode) more than the accepted answer. (+1)
    – Ian
    Commented Jul 15, 2019 at 15:09
  • 1
    I'd say "spray" and "explode" are the most natural sounding, "spray" esp. if those in the vicinity of the can get sprayed. ("Exploded all over him" is pretty normal, too.) Of course, English speakers make up all sorts a phrases to describe exciting events (poetic license, I suppose). +1
    – Michael E2
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 17:43

Another possibility is erupt:

From Merriam-Webster:

(1) : to burst from limits or restraint
(2) of a tooth : to emerge through the gum

b : to force out or release suddenly and often violently something (such as lava or steam) that is pent up

c : to become active or violent especially suddenly : break forth
war could erupt at any moment
the audience erupted in applause

2 : to break out with or as if with a skin eruption

erupt is most often used to describe volcanic eruptions, which I think is fitting because the sudden release of built-up pressure within a soda can is analogous to the sudden release of pressure during a volcanic eruption


I prefer the term burst.

The drink burst out of the can after he shook the diet coke can and opened it.

Burst - Merriam-Webster

: to break open, apart, or into pieces usually from impact or from pressure from within


I believe the correct word is gush or gush out

def: to flow or send out quickly and in large amounts:

Oil gushed (out) from the hole in the tanker. Blood was gushing from his nose. Her arm gushed blood where the knife had gone in.


To me, the most natural way to say this would be

The drink spurted out of the can.

A close second would be

The drink sprayed from the can.


The drink exploded from the can

would also be perfectly fine – and would in fact be the best choice if he shook the can really hard and you want to emphasize that the drink came out very quickly and forcefully.

These aren't phrasal verbs, of course – but then, neither is "explode out of."


Exploded is the best word because it's the the only word I've ever seen used in this context. Other words are likely not familiar in this context and would make it harder to understand the meaning of the sentence.

The drink exploded out of the can after he shook the diet coke can and opened it.

Other words like Spew or Erupt usually imply the the action takes some time, but exploded usually implies the action is instantaneous.

  • Please can you add definition to explain why you think this is the best word as opposed to the others suggested?
    – Gamora
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 16:53
  • just because it's the only one you've every heard, it doesn't make it the only one. It's a good word to use but you've stated its best without an explanation as to why, making that part of the answer an opinion. Generally on ELL SE you're encouraged to add sources to answers, such as the link to a dictionary definition of the word you've suggested.
    – Gamora
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 18:32
  • In your opinion...
    – Gamora
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 18:32
  • I agree that adding your opinion to an answer is very helpful. However your answer should be based on facts, the opinion should only be to clarify. There are other words which do work in this situation, although less common. Please feel free to read the ELL help pages
    – Gamora
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 18:38
  • "Exploded is the best word" is an opinion. As is "no explanation is better than this"
    – Gamora
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 20:05

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