Talk:86 (number)

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I'm removing the stub link from this page; I think it's gone far enough beyond stub status. Segekihei 03:46, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)


What was the number of the sheep that tried the Serta mattress? 86? 98? 68? ShutterBugTrekker 22:08, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

86ed - etymology[edit]

I cleaned up this section a bit but I think a short mention that the etymology is simply unknown with a few examples might be worthwhile. For example goggle and I just found this article which gives three possible sources only one of which is in the article:

Article 86 of the New York State Liquor Code
defines the circumstances in which a bar patron should be refused alcohol or '86ed'.
There is no "New York State Liquor Code" - the relevant law is called New York Alcoholic Beverage Control Law and what's more, it has neither an article nor a section 86, so I think this can be ruled out as a possible source. NotMarc (talk)
The Soup Kitchen Theory
during the depression of the 1930s, soup kitchens would often make just enough soup for 85 people. If you were next in line after number 85, you were '86ed'.
The Eight Feet By Six Feet Theory
A coffin is usually eight feet long and is buried six feet under. Once in your coffin you've been 'eight by sixed', which shortens to '86ed'.

Note: Coffins are actually buried only two feet below ground level, not six feet under as is commonly thought (my stepfather worked for our municipality and one of his numerous dutied was digging the graves at our city's cemeteries.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:56, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Not sure what is the most encyclopedic way to do this but I suspect listing 5 or 10 diffrent etymologies is not it. Dalf | Talk 23:39, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I changed the reference to "In American English" rather than English. Don't know if it's used in Canada too though.--Reincarnationfish (talk) 18:04, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

"is a reference to Article 86 of the New York State Liquor Code which defines the circumstances that a patron should be refused service, or "86'd"." is stated twice.. Once in a large paragraph, then directly below as its own line. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:57, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Also note: The hole is eight feet long and six feet deep to accommodate the coffin, even though the coffin is under only two feet of dirt the hole is eight by six. The body is still six feet under. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:57, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Removed some redundant cultural facts regarding Get Smart . Ehremington (talk) 05:18, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

I find it misleading to describe "the dimensions of a grave hole being dug to 8' by 6'.", apparently meaning 8' long by 6' DEEP. I would assume "x' by y'" measures to be length and width, not length and depth. Jeff Grigg (talk) 13:15, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Article 86 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice is the one dealing with "AWOL" status, i.e absence without leave, i.e, missing. This could also be an etymologic origin of the meaning: "to eighty six" is to make it "dissapear". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:07, 23 August 2011 (UTC)


I wonder also if the verb form of "86" (meaning "to get rid of") became more widespread and/or gained any greater popularity after the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima (on 8/6/1945). 20:24, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Rhyming Slang?[edit]

FWIW, the researchers over at list this question as undetermined, but make a strong case for the rhyming slang theory. NotMarc (talk)