au jus

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 18 23:23:15 UTC 2012

Arnold Zwicky posted an item on "French Dip", prompted by the Zippy
strip. Among other tidbits, the post mentions that a French dip sandwich
can be "served au jus".

OED dates the usage to 1865:

> Cookery (chiefly U.S.). A. adj.
> As postmodifier: designating a dish, usually meat, prepared or served
> in a gravy containing its own juices. Cf. jus n.
> 1865 Mrs. Goodfellow's Cookery as it should Be 150 (heading) Endive au
> jus.
> B. adv.
> With gravy or jus; in its own juices.
> 1866 N.Y. Times 11 Jan. 2/4 The bill of fare for Tuesday was: Potage,
> julienne; fish, broiled,..quail, larded au jus.

The first variant is simply a part of the name of a dish, attached to
the ingredient "swimming" in the sauce. The second refers to the style
of cooking or serving.

There is also a third, somewhat hacked use:

> C. n.
> = jus n.
> 1930 Reno (Nevada) Evening Gaz. 23 Aug. 4/6 (advt.) Choice of
> Fricassee of Chicken With Italian Suchini, Roast Prime Beef With Au Jus.
> 1969 Amer. Speech 44 92 An informant in Kansas reports that a
> cafeteria server asks customers if they want ‘the au jus’ with their beef.

In any case, A. appears to be nothing more than a menu item and the date
on that can be pushed back.
Paris as it was and as it is: or, A sketch of the French capital. By
Francis William Blagdon. Volume 1. London: 1803
Beauvilliers, Restaurateur. Entreès de Patisserie. p. 445
> 2 petits Pâtés a la Béchamel 1 4
> 2 petits Pâtés au jus 0 16

Entremets. p. 450
> Epinards au jus 0 18
> Chicoreé au jus 1 5
> Céleri au jus [?]
> ...
> Œufs brouillés au jus 0 15

A more interesting, although not really more integrated case shows up a
bit later.
The New monthly magazine and universal register. London: 1 January 1828
p. 36
> There is as much difference between a "choufleur au jus" at the Café
> de Paris, at Very's, and a plain-boiled cauliflower at any tavern in
> London, as there is between Sir William Curtis and Monsieur Lafitte.

There are also a couple of hits for 1826 and 1830, but these are merely
menu items and provide nothing interesting in addition to these two.
Searching for more integrated items in GB shows "Prime Rib au jus" in
1913, "celery au jus" (as opposed to "celeri") in 1914, "[roast] beef au
jus" in 1914 and later and "plum-pudding au jus" in 1962 (actually,
lifted from a Parisian menu circa 1871, in French!), but these are much
too late. In fact, there are surprisingly few hits for "au jus" in GB
through the 19th century. So I have not spotted any antedating for B. and C.

The American Dialect Society -

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