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What is the etymology for the verb? 09:35, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

It comes out of NYC, but the precise origin is uncertain. It could be from a NYC article of law, or the street address of a liquor bar, or a menu item in a steak restaurant that was frequently out of stock. —Stephen 19:59, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

8 x 6[edit]

One of my friends referred to Eighty-Six as indicating that something was in a hole eight feet wide & six feet deep. It seems from the time frame this could be from possibly World War I, but there is little evidence in the discussion/debate about this. Actually, all of the origins make less sense to me than this possible explanation since they lack compelling evidence as well. 03:47, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

I still have living relatives born around the end of WW I and they agree that eighty-six can’t mean eight wide by six deep, and besides, eight wide by six deep doesn’t means anything either. There is six feet under, but nothing like that with an eight or eighty in it. Eighty-six is probably a rhyme for nix. —Stephen (Talk) 14:05, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Another possible origin - or not[edit]

In 1928 all electrical components of the power system, then being installed across America, were given standardized numbers to show their functional use on all electrical power system circuit diagrams. An 86 device is a LOCKOUT breaker. Linemen and other power system technicians were working their way across America as the country was electrified. They work hard, dangerous jobs and they party hard at night, and their terminology became part of American slang in the 30's. The origination of the term "being 86'd" (or locked out, thrown out) is well known to all technicians and linemen in the power system industry, and it started in 1928, before any other documented usages of the term in songs or popular writings. —This unsigned comment was added by Gm5bkc (talkcontribs) at 08:57, May 23, 2013‎. [moved from deleted content on entry by DCDuring TALK 15:56, 23 May 2013 (UTC)]

For this to be accepted as more than a guess, we would need some evidence. For starters, it would be nice if one could find any use of 86 or eighty-six as a verb in the power system industry, especially before evidence of use in the "discard", "reject", etc. senses. DCDuring TALK 16:24, 23 May 2013 (UTC)