Pop Culture dictionary



What does Publix mean?

Publix—where shopping is a pleasure!—is a grocery store chain in Florida and other southern US states. Thanks to its strong regional identity, Publix is the subject of internet memes praising or mocking the store.

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Where does Publix come from?

Cullman Today

Founded in Winter Haven, Florida in 1930 by George Jenkins, Publix is a Southern grocery chain that prides itself on being employee-owned and an overall pleasant place to shop. Indeed, their slogan is even “Where shopping is a pleasure!” The name plays on it being the public’s grocery store.

Urban Dictionary entries for Publix began in 2004 with a joke about a woman with a hot body but who needs a grocery bag for her face, presumably from Publix. Uh, hasn’t that joke already been done? During the 2000s, Florida-based Facebook groups cropped up to share memes and stories about the store.


BuzzFeed ran an article in 2013 praising Publix sub sandwiches, but a string of controversies in 2016 brought Publix into a not-so-admiring spotlight for many when they fired a baker at the store for his sexual orientation and Carol Jenkins Barnett, the founder’s daughter, donated money to an anti-medical marijuana organization.

But the internet, as always, has a short memory. In 2017, a website launched called Are Publix Chicken Tender Subs On Sale. Its sole purpose is to display (for hungry shoppers) YES or NOPE. The so-called Pub sub is especially popular on Reddit, which has a dedicated Publix subreddit.

Examples of Publix

they should put a drive thru right down the middle of the publix deli
@FussForDays, June, 2018
@andersoncooper I just scolded Publix for not showing pride and no signs of support the lgbt community here in Orlando!
@Bettney27, June, 2016
Some Florida craft beer companies still hold real estate on Publix shelves, like Cigar City, Tampa Bay Brewing and Coppertail. But the big players and their affiliates are taking up more and more space. So it may only be a matter of time before these Floridian beers are nixed as well.
Megan Scavo, Orlando Weekly, June, 2018

Who uses Publix?

Publix is well known in Florida, and for good reason: 700 of the over 1,000 stores are in that state alone. Folx are also very fond of their Publix, known for the community-like feel they try to provide for shoppers.

As noted, there are several Publix meme and fan pages online, parodying their buy-one-get-one-free sales, commenting on their general hospitality, and raving about their deli section, where you can pick up a nice salad for lunch, an easy rotisserie chicken for dinner, or a famous chicken tender Pub sub for any occasion.


Although Publix is beloved by Floridians, the chain is not always talked about positively. Online forums and even some Urban Dictionary entries put down working at Publix, despite it being consistently named a great place to work by publications like Forbes. On social media, opinion is equally varied, with Southerners offering praise and contempt equally.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of Publix like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Publix that will help our users expand their word mastery.