‘Greasy Spoon’ Lingo…

Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury 

They were called “greasy spoons,” those folksy diners of yesteryear. Printed menus were limited, but waitpersons had their slang menu “down pat.” The one I remember best had a single line of stools, and patrons typically waited in outdoor lines for weekday “lunch runs.”

Admittedly, I’ve already used this week’s quota of quotation marks, but strong in my memory is how the “waitperson” yelled food orders to the nearby cook, who had to be “quick on the uptake” of verbal orders.

The system has given way to numbers, and this is regrettable. Numbers can include various cadences, of course, but words can sing, rhyme and humor, sometimes all in the same food order….


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