The Meaning of 86: What It Is and How To Use It

What does the slang term 86 mean? This article will define the meaning of 86 and explore the origins of this fascinating term. Read on to learn more.

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Have you ever heard someone use the term 86 in a restaurant? This article will define the meaning of the slang term 86 and explore this word’s origins. Then, it will provide ways you can say the term 86 in other languages, as well as alternate terminology surrounding this phrase.  

What Does 86 Mean?

According to Dictionary, the number eighty-six is a slang term that means to reject or discard. This slang term is most often used in restaurant industry lingo to mean to remove a menu item or to refuse service. Sometimes, people can also use the term 86 to mean sold out or out of stock, but this is less common.

What Is the Etymology of 86?

There are several possible origins for the slang term 86. The first idea from the 1930s restaurant industry as a rhyming slang term for the word nix. This is confirmed in a 1933 newspaper column on the glossary of soda-fountain lingo by Walter Winchell.

The term 86 might also stem from Chumley’s, a prohibition bar at 86 Bedford Street in New York City’s Greenwich Village. This prohibition-era speakeasy would serve alcohol, which was against the law. When the police were on the way, the bartender would “86” the customers and tell them to leave out the backdoor.

People also speculate that 86 is a reference to different proofs of whiskey: 100 proof and 86 proof. Rumor has it that if a customer seemed like they had too much to drink if the 100 proof, the bartender would begin serving them 86 proof liquor. Additionally, people believe that 86 might come from a standard grave measurement, which is 8 feet long and 6 feet deep. 

The last and darkest idea for where this term comes from is the Empire State Building, which has 86 floors. It is thought that the origin of the term 86 comes from jumping off of the 86th floor in this famous NYC building. 

What Are Translations of 86?

Interestingly, this trending phrase is not used around the world. It’s most popular in American English. So, if you are using 86 as a slang verb to mean to discard or toss out, you can use one of the below translations of discard from Nice Translator in its place. 

Many times, slang terms do not translate across languages. Sometimes slang terms are a play on words that only work in certain languages. Other times, a slang term’s origin might not make sense to other countries. This is why when you are traveling or speaking a different language, it can be best to steer clear of slang terms altogether. 

  • Japanese: 破棄
  • Filipino: itapon
  • Gujarati: કા discી નાખવા
  • Amharic: መጣል
  • Danish: Kasser
  • Ukrainian: відкинути
  • Chinese (PRC): 丢弃
  • Hebrew: להשליך
  • Malayalam: ഉപേക്ഷിക്കുക
  • German: verwerfen
  • Arabic: تجاهل
  • Polish: odrzucać
  • Thai: ทิ้ง
  • Slovak: vyradiť
  • Greek: απορρίπτω
  • French: Jeter
  • Telugu: విస్మరించండి
  • Estonian: äraviskamine
  • Spanish: desechar
  • Tamil: நிராகரிக்கவும்
  • Dutch: weggooien
  • Serbian: одбацити
  • Finnish: hylätä
  • Icelandic: Fleyg
  • Korean: 버리다
  • Italian: scartare
  • Lithuanian: išmesti
  • Marathi: टाकून द्या
  • Croatian: odbaciti
  • Swedish: kassera
  • Swahili: Tupa
  • Slovenian: zavržanje
  • Catalan: descartar
  • Kannada: ತರಿಸು
  • Vietnamese: loại bỏ
  • Hindi: रद्द करें
  • Hungarian: eldob
  • Russian: отказаться
  • Bulgarian: изхвърлете
  • Latvian: atmest
  • Norwegian: Kast
  • Portuguese (Portugal): descartar
  • Portuguese (Brazil): descartar
  • Urdu: خارج کردیں
  • Turkish: atmak
  • Basque: baztertu
  • Czech: vyřadit
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 丟棄
  • Indonesian: membuang
  • Malay: buang
  • Bengali: বাতিল করা
  • Welsh: daflwch
  • Romanian: aruncat

What Are Synonyms of 86?

86 is a slang term, which means that it is not appropriate to use in formal and professional settings. 

If you are trying to use the slang term 86 to mean discarding something or throwing something away in a non-casual setting, you should opt to use one of the below synonyms of 86 from Power Thesaurus instead. This way, you will make sure not to offend anyone or to come off unprofessional. 

  • abandon
  • banish
  • boot
  • boot out
  • bounce
  • cashier
  • cast
  • cast aside
  • cast away
  • cast out
  • chuck
  • chuck out
  • deep-six
  • defeat
  • deport
  • depose
  • discard
  • discharge
  • disgorge
  • dislodge
  • dismiss
  • dispense with
  • dispose
  • dispose of
  • dispossess
  • ditch
  • drive out
  • drop
  • drum out
  • dump
  • dumped
  • eject
  • emit
  • evict
  • exclude
  • exile
  • expatriate
  • expel
  • fire
  • fling
  • get rid of
  • jettison
  • junk
  • kick out
  • let go
  • lose
  • oust
  • pour out
  • put away
  • reject
  • release
  • remove
  • sack
  • scrap
  • send out
  • send packing
  • shed
  • show someone the door
  • take
  • throw
  • throw out
  • throw away
  • toss
  • toss away
  • toss out
  • trash
  • turf out
  • turn out
  • veto

What Are Antonyms of 86?

The opposite of throwing something out or discarding something is keeping something. If you are in search of words that mean the opposite of the term 86, Power Thesaurus has got you covered. 

Do you know what the words in the below list mean?

  • avert
  • carry
  • carry on
  • carry out
  • conceal
  • conserve
  • continue
  • defend
  • delay
  • ensure
  • follow
  • go on
  • guard
  • have
  • hide
  • hold
  • hold back
  • hold on to
  • hold up
  • impede
  • inhibit
  • keep
  • keep back
  • keep going
  • keep on
  • keep up
  • look after
  • maintain
  • mind
  • obey
  • observe
  • preserve
  • prevent
  • proceed
  • protect
  • remain
  • reserve
  • restrain
  • retain
  • safeguard
  • save
  • secure
  • shelter
  • shield
  • stay
  • stop
  • store
  • support
  • sustain
  • take
  • take care of
  • uphold
  • watch over
  • withhold


86 is a slang term that means to discard or throw out. It can also be used as an adjective to mean sold out or out of stock. There are many possible theories as to where this slang term comes from, but no one knows for sure. Most often, you’ll see this slang term used in restaurant settings by waiters and cooks.


  1. Throw Out synonyms – 1 485 Words and Phrases for Throw Out | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Keep Synonyms | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Eighty-six Definition & Meaning | 
  4. Discard | Nice Translator