ARTICLE-Waiter Slang

Waiter Slang

article and image by Carole Terwilliger Meyers
chart design by Gene Meyers

server with diner at R&G Lounge in San Francisco, California
server with diner at R&G Lounge
in San Francisco, California

Hash-house slang has intrigued me ever since I learned that a non-fat decaf cappuccino is referred to as a “why bother.”  Though it has a colorful history dating back to the 1850s, usage is dying out because so are coffee shops and diners.  Some of the terms were probably overheard by customers who then decided to cancel their order (I think I’d give it a second thought if I ordered hash and heard the waiter holler out “clean up the kitchen”!).  How many of these have you heard of?

references to food preparation

references to customers

Know more slang restaurant terms that you’d like to share?  Submit your suggestion in e-mail.  Include your name and city/state of residence and if I decide to add it to this list, I’ll credit you. 

(www.berkeleyandbeyond2.com; copyright Carole Terwilliger Meyers)