Date: Sat, 29 Apr 1995 12:21:37 -0600

From: Katherine Catmull kate[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]BGA.COM

Subject: Re: "You're eighty-six, man!"

May have started in another guise, but at least here in New York City

"eighty six" is bartender's slang for a customer who won't be served anymore,

who has been cut off (because of rude behavior or being too drunk). "He's

been eighty-sixed."

The alt.folklore.urban FAQ, which is reasonable reliable, lists as

"believed true" the statement "The expression '86' (to put the kibosh on),

originated in 1920s diner slang." It doesn't say why "86," however. I've

read that this was the street number on for a New York bar famous for

tossing out cutomers, but my memory is vague and it may not be true in any


In the Northern Exposure episode, I believe Chris says "You're

eighty-sixed" (with the "-ed" ending), meaning "you're fired; you're out of


Kate Catmull kate[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]