Jesse T Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Tue Jun 29 15:44:20 UTC 1999

> This morning a local program on words noted that the earliest evidence
> for mayo (=mayonnaise) is from 1960.  This no doubt is from Wentworth &
> Flexner.  I've looked about a bit and the only suggestion of earlier
> evidence is from W&F where they say "common since 1930."  Surely it
> must be earlier than 1960.

One would indeed think this would be earlier than 1960, if not
1930, but I haven't seen an example of this, nor has the OED or
the Merriam folk.

> Are there some lunch-counter slang lists?

Yes, but they don't include it. It's not in any edition of
Berrey and van den Bark's exhaustive _American Thesaurus of
Slang,_ though the term is exactly the sort they have. The
book does include _may_ for 'mayonnaise', though, in their
section on restaurant slang, as does
Jack Smiley's 1941 _Hash House Lingo_ (which doesn't have

Barry, read any '30s menus lately?

Jesse Sheidlower
<jester at>

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