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Eighty-Six

What is ‘Eighty-Six’?

Eighty-six is an American slang term, used to describe something that has been discontinued or the prohibition of an item, service or individual. It can be written in a number of different ways, and is most often heard as a verb – to be ‘eighty-sixed’ or to ’86’ someone or something. The origins of the phrase are unknown, with several conflicting accounts, but the earliest confirmed use comes from a restaurant slang term in 1933.

‘Eighty-Six’ Explained

If a patron of the casino is described as being ‘eighty-sixed’ or if a gambler is told to ’86’, they have been asked to leave the table they were using or to exit the gambling establishment entirely. Players might be banned from the casino because they are cheating or using some form of advantage play. They could also be ejected or banned if they try to duck paying a debt or bill, if they are too intoxicated or if they are causing trouble for the staff and the players. Casinos have strict rules that all patrons must adhere to, and even online casinos ask players to follow the terms and conditions or risk having their playing account suspended.

The term ‘eighty-six’ is associated with the US restaurant trade, and it is used as slang in the service industry to mean an item that is sold out, or that has been discontinued and is no longer available. The phrase spread as an active verb, ‘eighty-sixed’, which means to be barred from an establishment or refused service. Today, ’86ed’ and ‘eighty-sixed’ are frequently seen in movies, songs and other pop culture mediums, describing any ban on a person or thing. It is sometimes seen as a reference to being fired, or being asked to leave a private club or other members’ organization.