Diner Lingo, a Dying Artform

Something that’s been lost in my lifetime is the colorful lingo of the local diner. As a boy I remember sitting in a small town diner and hearing waitresses and short order cooks communicate in a code all their own and was fascinated with it. Now with fast food corporate dining places taking over from the small mom and pop diners, you get electronic messages on a screen referring to specific menu options, and diner lingo is a dying artform.

This is a tip of the hat to some of the memorable diner lingo from the now receding and distant past, just for the sake of nostalgia.

1. Adam and Eve on a raft – Two poached eggs on toast
2. Adam’s ale – Water
3. cow paste – Butter
4. Moo juice – Milk
5. Belch water – Seltzer or soda water
6. Whistleberries – Baked beans
7. Blonde with Sand – Coffee with cream and sugar.
8. Chicks on a raft – Eggs on toast
9. Bossy in a bowl – Beef stew
10. Bow-wow – A hot dog
11. Cackleberries – Eggs
12. Bloodhound in the Hay – A hot dog with sauerkraut
13. A cup of mud – A cup of coffee
14. Draw one in the dark – A cup of black coffee
15. Mystery in the alley – A side order of hash
16. Cat’s eyes – Tapioca pudding
17. Hemorrhage – Ketchup
18. Frog sticks – French fries
19. Heart Attack on Rack – Biscuits and gravy
20. Wreck ‘em – Scrambled eggs
21. Hockey puck – A hamburger, well done
22. First lady – Spareribs (probably a pun on Eve being made from Adam’s rib)
23. Mississippi Mud – mustard
24. Wax – American cheese
25. On the hoof – Any kind of meat cooked rare
26. Hounds on an Island – Franks and beans
27. Nervous pudding – Jello
28. Sea dust – salt
29. Radio – A tuna salad sandwich on toast (“tuna down” or tuna on toast, sounds like “turn it down” the command often repeated when the radio is on in the kitchen)
30. Noah’s boy – A slice of ham (Ham was one of the Biblical Noah’s sons)
31. Whiskey – rye bread
32. Whiskey down – rye toast
34. Flop two – Two fried eggs over easy