While looking up some info on New Jersey Diners on Wikipedia, I found this long list of words supposedly used in Diner Lingo. Apparently, these words are slang that waitresses are supposed to use to communicate the customers orders to the cooks at a diner during the first three quarters of the 20th century. We all know what a ordering a ‘BLT’ will get you, but saying something like ‘We need Hounds on an Island with a Shoot from the South Special!’ would result in a frank and beans with a Coke being prepared by the kitchen. I have never, ever heard of some of these, and I assume someone just made them up to amuse Wikipedia readers. It must be true, though, because it is a much longer list of words than the Hobo Code.

What this lists lacks is context. I don’t really get why people would need slang at a diner. Almost none of them are shorthand versions of the original (why use a five syllable code word to get the two syllable ‘ketch-up’?), some of them are off-color or politically incorrect, and some of them are so far removed from the items that they represent that they become MYSTIFYING. Maybe people created it to feel like they were part of a group. Like it was just enough to make people feel like they belonged to their own subculture. Its not like they had Facebook or Xbox Live, so maybe this was what they had instead?

Anyway, after reading through the ridiculousness, I went ahead and picked out my ten favorites.

10.Adam & Eve on a Raft & Wreck ‘em orders Two Scrambled Eggs on Toast

This sounds like a total biblical massacre. The two main characters of Genesis get drowned when their boat is attacked (presumably by pirates).

9.Million on a Platter translates to A Plate of Baked Beans

This sounds like a bunch of bugs are being served on fine dinnerware. It makes me envision a waitress bringing someone a plate of orange fish roe normally used on top of sushi.

8.Yum Yum is Sugar -

Holy crap! They got one right! Sugar is Yum Yum, indeed.

7.Boiled Leaves gets you A Cup of Tea

YES! this is always my argument against drinking tea! Its just boiled leaves! Like water from a pond on hot sunny day. I’m actually surprised that the person who first said this was clever enough to not make it a joke about the British.

6. The Gentleman Will Take a Chance somehow orders a Plate of Hashbrowns -

This sounds way more exciting than the dish you’re about to be presented. If I was in a diner and heard someone loudly declare that to the cook, I’d duck. I’d expect that someone is going to serve the guy a gun on a plate, and he’s got to figure out what to do with it. I’m pretty sure that’s a plot point at least in three Jason Statham movies.

5. A Hemorrhage is just tomato ketchup

Everybody settle down, its just ketchup. This is an unnecessarily ultra-violent euphamism for something that needs no euphamism at all.

4. A Murphy is A Potato -

This one’s perfect. Potatoes should just be know as Murphies. Doesn’t Mr potato head look like his name is Murphy?

3. Put Out the Lights and Cry is diner slang for An Order of Liver and Onions -

Totally depressing! When you order this, you should have to come up with a sad story to go along with it. Actually, you know what? Anybody who orders a plate of liver and onions is probably miserable enough already.

2.Twelve Alive in a Shell is an order of A Dozen Raw Oysters-

This one should be called ‘the gentleman will take a chance’. I love diners, but I can not think of a diner in the state that I would ever order raw seafood from. Seriously, if you are ordering raw oysters from a diner, than you want to die. You order this when you don’t get served a plate of gun. Even Jason Statham fears death too much to try this.

1.Noah’s Boy with Murphy Carrying a Wreath is a really complex way to order Ham and Potatoes with Cabbage -

Awesome. So let’s see. Ham was Noah’s son, We already know murphy is a potato, and cabbage is a wreath. Sounds like the failed plot idea for a Toy Story Christmas spinoff. Also, its not even appetizing. Ham and Potatoes is fine, but you start adding cabbage and everything gets a little weird. This is truly a depression era dish.

Alright. Enough with this stuff. Ye Olde Diner Lingo must die and fade away like Latin and Esperanto. While it might seem like a quaint, retro piece of diner culture, its useless to actually try and order with it. Just pick a burger and enjoy.