Others have suggested that this usage originated from the famous Delmonico's Restaurant in New York City, as item number 86 on their menu, their house steak, often ran out during the 19th century.
Another explanation is that Chumley's, which was a famous 1900s New York speakeasy, is located at 86 Bedford St. During Prohibition, an entrance through an interior adjoining courtyard was used, as it provided privacy and discretion for customers. As was a New York tradition, the cops were on the payroll of the bar and would give a ring to the bar that they were coming for a raid. The bartender would then give the command "86 everybody!", which meant that everyone should hightail it out the 86 Bedford entrance because the cops were coming in through the courtyard door.
The term came into popular use among soldiers and veterans to describe missing soldiers as 86'd. Rather than describe buddies missing in action, it was slang to desc
at 2:51 PM on Aug. 12, 2009