The Alternative English Dictionary: 86

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Entry definition

86 etymology unknown. The OED suggests possible rhyming slang for nix. Other more elaborate theories include in New York City, as item #86 on their menu, their house steak, the famous Delmonico steak, is supposed to have run out often in the 19th century. Another theory is that this term came from the New York speakeasy , which was a hotspot in the 1920s. Chumley’s is hidden inside a west village building which has two entrances, a well set back main entrance on Barrow Street and an obscure back-door exit on 86 Bedford Street. When police were sighted approaching the main entrance, the barkeeps yelled ‘86 it’ to hide the liquor and signal the patrons to quickly exit the back door. pronunciation
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verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (informal) To cancel an order for food. "86 the ham and eggs for table two!"
  2. (informal) To remove an item from the menu. 86 the lobster bisque – we won’t have the lobster delivery until tomorrow. "Yes, I’d like the tomato soup." / "I’m sorry sir, that’s been 86ed – would you like a salad instead?"
  3. (informal) To throw out; discard. "We finally had to 86 that old printer after it jammed one too many times."
  4. (informal) To deny service. "The restaurant 86ed us because we didn't fit the dress code."
    • 1995, , 00:10:40: (Ben Sanderson, speaking to a bartender) -- "Please, serve me today, and I'll never come in here again. If I do, you can 86 me."
Synonyms: nix, ixnay

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