D.C. Dictionary: The Diner Slang Dictionary

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Random Diner Slang

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Radio:
tuna salad sandwich on toast (a pun on "tuna down," which sounds like "turn it down," as one would the radio knob)
Black and white:
chocolate soda with vanilla ice cream
Boiled leaves:
tea
Foreign Entanglements:
plate of spaghetti
Chopper:
a table knife
Dog biscuit:
a cracker
Eve with a lid on:
apple pie, referring to the biblical Eve's tempting of Adam with an apple. The "lid" is the pie crust
Hail:
ice
Pair of drawers:
two cups of coffee
Eighty-six:
"Do not sell to that customer" or "The kitchen is out of the item ordered". "To remove an item from an order or from the menu". Article 86 of the New York State Liquor Code defines the circumstances in which a bar patron should be refused alcohol or '86ed'. The Soup Kitchen Theory: during the depression of the 1930s, soup kitchens would often make just enough soup for 85 people. If you were next in line after number 85, you were '86ed'. The Eight Feet By Six Feet Theory: A coffin is usually eight feet long and is buried six feet under. Once in your coffin you've been 'eight by sixed', which shortens to '86ed'. Chumley's Theory: Many years ago, Chumley's Restaurant, at 86 Bedford Street in Greenwich Village, New York City, had a custom of throwing rowdy customers out the back door. During Prohibition, Chumley's was a speakeasy owned by Leland Stanford Chumley. When the cops were on the way, someone would shout "86," and they would all exit through the back door.
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