General Question

El_Cadejo's avatar

Where did the term 86 something come from?

Asked by El_Cadejo (34570points) December 23rd, 2007

i work in a restaurant and have always wondered where the term to 86 something has come from. For those of you who don’t know 86 means without, or all out of.

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5 Answers

sferik's avatar

There are a number of interesting theories listed on the Wikipedia page for 86.

misscarina's avatar says that:

Despite ALL other posts suggestion the origin of this phrase there is only one true answer:

Chumley’s, a famous and OLD New York speakeasy, is located at 86 Bedford St. During Prohibition, an entrance through an interior adjoining courtyard was used, as it provided privacy and discretion for customers.

As was (and is) a New York tradition, the cops were on the payroll of the bar and would give a ring to the bar that they were coming for a raid. The bartender would then give the command “86 everybody!”, which meant that everyone should hightail it out the 86 Bedford enterance because the cops were coming in through the courtyard door.


Spargett's avatar

So many of these sayings origins have lost their true meanings. It reminds me alot of that game where you pass a specific story through a group of people in a circle and watch how the story has completely changed by the time it gets back around.

There are far too many, “just because” reasons for things in life. i.e. Easter. Wtf does a rabbit that distributes candy have to do with anything!?

El_Cadejo's avatar

but i love my chocolate eggs and such that a giant rabbit gives me ^_^

Azzli's avatar

The term “86” actually comes from World War II. It means to eliminate something or it is no longer. The bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were dropped on Aug. 6th, 8/6. Hence the term, 86.

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