December 06, 2004

*Ask Jen: 86ing Edition

Kyle said, "The story behind the term '86' might be interesting... go for it!"

The term "86" originated with the food service industry back in the 1920s. Lunch-counter clerks had to communicate with the cook verbally, and they didn't necessarily want the customers to understand everything that was being said. Code words and numbers were used when preferred...such as "86" meaning the cook was out of an item.

The term "86" also came to mean that a customer should not be served, and it made its way in this meaning to the adult beverage establishments. An "86" was a customer who shouldn't be served any more due to intoxication, and removing that customer from the bar became "86ing".

Posted by Jennifer at December 6, 2004 03:15 PM


Ahh, very nice. Where do you get all your special knowledge from? I am in awe.

Posted by: Kyle at December 6, 2004 03:18 PM

Aah. Kinda like when the Mets '86'd the Red Sox, eh?

Posted by: Tuning Spork at December 6, 2004 07:59 PM

You're so smart's damn hot.

Posted by: Kin at December 7, 2004 04:01 AM

Good history, but why 86, and not, say 85 or 87?

Just one of those random things, like Catch-22 (which could easily have been Catch-21 or Catch-23)?

Posted by: Harvey at December 7, 2004 08:56 AM