Diner lingo

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Diner lingo is a kind of American verbal slang used by cooks and chefs in diners and diner-style restaurants, and by the waitresses to communicate their orders to the cooks. It is virtually unknown outside the US.


The origin of the lingo is unknown, but there is evidence suggesting it may have been used by waiters as early as the 1870s and 1880s. Many of the terms used are lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek and some are a bit racy or ribald, but are helpful mnemonic devices for short-order cooks and staff.

List of terms


Adam & Eve on a raft: two poached eggs on toast

Adam & Eve on a raft & wreck 'em: two scrambled eggs on toast

Adam's ale: water

All hot: baked potato

Arnold Palmer: Half sweet tea, half lemonade


B & B: bread and butter

B.L.T.: bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich

Baby: glass of milk

Baled hay: shredded wheat

Balloon juice/Belch water/Alka Seltzer: seltzer, soda water

Beef stick: bone

Billiard: buttermilk

Birdseed: breakfast

Black and white: chocolate soda with vanilla ice cream

A blonde with sand: coffee with cream and sugar

Bloodhounds in the hay: hot dogs and sauerkraut

Bloody: very rare

Blowout patches: pancakes

Blue-plate special: a dish of meat, potato, and vegetable served on a plate (usually blue) sectioned in three parts (can also refer to the daily special)

Boiled leaves: tea

Bow-wow/Bun pup/Tube steak/Groundhog: a hot dog

Bowl of red: a bowl of chili con carne (so called for its deep red color)

Break it and shake......
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