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- What does the term “86'd” relate to? 7 answers
I came across a phrase, “86 to sb.” in the following paragraph of an article titled “The owner of the Red Hen explains why she asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave,” in the Washington Post (June 23), that comes with a picture of an actual paycheck issued by the restaurant showing the code, “86” above the name of a recipient.
The paragraph reads;
If you ever heard the term “to 86 someone,” it comes from the restaurant industry – code to refuse service, or alternatively to take an item off the menu.
I’m curious to know why the number 86 came to represent the refusal of service at service establishments. Does someone know the provenance?
I noticed that my post duplicates with the similar question posted in 2011, but I dont' think I find a convincing source of its provenance (first appearance, sources, usage trend, currency). It seems that the word gained recency and life with the restaurant owner's refusal to serve Sarah Huckabee in her Mexican restaurant. Is there any new source of its origin than ones I saw on the previous post?
I checked both Cambridge and Oxford online dictionaries for this word. Cambridge doesn't carry this word.
Oxford Dictionaries define "eighty six" as;
1.(informal) Eject or bar someone from a restaurant, bar etc.
2.Reject, discard or cancel.
1930s (as a noun) used in restaurants and bars to indicate that a menu item is not available or that a customer is not to be served. Perhaps rhyming slang for nix, which sounds like a bit overstretched assumption to me.
The currency of the word or number - 86 is unexpectedly high based on google Ngram.
The usage can track back to earlier than 1800 (at 0.002% level) and keeps rising up to 0.00672% level in 2000.