Diner Slang and Lunch Counter Lingo: The Answers


Yesterday, Fork in the Road put up a quiz, asking you to match up expressions that represented hash-house lingo of the 19th century, and diner slang of the 20th, with the names of the dishes that engendered them.

Now here are the matchups.

19th-Century Hash-House Lingo

Fried sleeve buttons = Fish cakes
A plate of summertime = Oatmeal
A band of music with the leader = Pork and beans
Fallen greatness = Napoleon
Soaked bums = Pickled beets
Stack of browns = Buckwheat pancakes
Slaughter in the pan = Beefsteak
Red Mike with a bunch of violets = Corned beef and cabbage
Drop one on the brown = Hash with an egg
A Sheeny funeral with two on horseback = Roast pork and boiled potatoes
Draw one, three off = A cup of coffee with three pancakes
Two ham on one = Two ham sandwiches on the same plate

20th-Century Diner Slang

Baby = Glass of milk
Tube steak = Hot dog
Burn one = Hamburger, well done
Drag one through Wisconsin = Cheeseburger
Bucket of cold mud = Chocolate ice cream
Million on a platter = Baked beans
One from the Alps = Swiss cheese sandwich
Shivering hay = Strawberry Jell-O
Short stack = Pancakes
Wax = American cheese
Zeppelins in a fog = Sausages and mashed potatoes
Mike and Ike = Salt and pepper shakers
Cowboy with spurs = Western omelet with french fries
Battery acid = Grapefruit juice
Fish eyes = Tapioca pudding
City juice = Water
Eve with a lid on = Apple pie
Adam’s ale, hold the hail = Water without ice

Next: Bonus — a choice selection of military mess-hall expressions

Military Mess-Hall Nomenclature

Armored cow = Canned milk
Army strawberries = Prunes
Chow = Military food
Cigarette soup = Onion soup
D-fac = Dining facility
Egg banjo = Fried egg sandwich
I must puke = Individual meat packs (IMPs)
Jimmy Dean = Prepackaged meal
Shit on a shingle = Creamed beef on toast
Soup cooler = One’s mouth
Flight deck buzzard = Chicken
Fighting gear = Eating utensils
Hockey pucks = Swedish meat balls
Radioactive Rudolph = Reindeer meat
Roast beast = Roast beef
Dynamited chicken = Chicken à la king
Big nasty = Prepackaged lunch
Horse cock = Kielbasa
Tiger piss = Rotgut booze
Gut truck = Mobile kitchen