“Hey Bartender…” Commentary on Bar and Restaurant Terminology

chef yellingTerminology, jargon and nicknames are the vital organs that keep groups who share unique experiences going. Listen in on conversations amongst surfers, bankers, war veterans, or kindergartners, and you will hear common language that is often bent, morphed and invented becoming expert tools central to the tribe achieving its goals. The more extreme the events these groups face, the more interesting and meaningful the jargon becomes.

In the February 16, 2014 New York Times, Ben Schott polled nearly 20 Manhattan bars and lounges, bringing to light a mere shot glass of the jargon used by their staff as they engage in heroic battles of dealing with the dining public.

If you thought you knew what a ‘Dairy Queen’, ‘Pharmacist’ or ‘Book Club’ was, you would only be half-right. And you will learn a bar is the one place you don’t want to be called a ‘Warren Buffet’.

Two terms not found in the article that I learned in restaurants and still use today (with love).

In the Weeds: Any restaurant worker who was overwhelmed by their tasks.

Seagull: A server who eats food remnants from customers dirty plates.

How about you? Any terms, nicknames or jargon that once used in the correct way, established you as a member in an exclusive club?

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