Etymology of "Eighty-Six"

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Fri Nov 7 23:00:33 UTC 2008

Article 86 of the 1920 Articles of War was concerned with "Misbehavior of Sentenels."

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Wilson Gray
Sent: Friday, November 07, 2008 11:24 AM
Subject: Re: Etymology of "Eighty-Six"

The UCMJ is much too recent to be the source. However, I don't know
how the UCMJ compares with the earlier, more-colorfully named Articles
of War. That is, for all I know, art.86 could be the same in both
publications, in which case. art.86 is a possible source.


All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 1:36 PM, John-Patrick <email1 at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       John-Patrick <email1 at FOLKLORE.MS>
> Subject:      Re: Etymology of "Eighty-Six"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Greetings,
> I have read that the 86 comes from military parlance as Article 86 of
> the Uniform Military Code that deals with "Absent Without Leave
> (AWOL)".  When something is sold out it in a restaurant it is also
> "Absent without Leave".   Any evidence for this?
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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