Food & Nutrition

27 Secret Phrases You Would Only Hear at a ’50s Diner

Paint a bow-wow red, shingle with a shimmy and a shake, drown the kids?? Welcome to the wacky world of diner lingo, where elephants have dandruff, the salads have warts, and your server might kindly ask the chef to put the lights out and cry.

Burn one, take it through the garden, and pin a rose on it

American dinnerKitaeva Tatiana/Shutterstock

Don’t be alarmed when you order a hamburger and hear this called out instead. “Burn one” refers to dropping the burger in the grill, and “taking it through the garden” means topping it with lettuce and tomato. Your burger is then finished with the most fragrant of roses: the onion. Looking for the best fast food burger? We tried them all and found a favorite.

Shingle with a shimmy and shake

Thick sliced Texas toast with strawberry apple preservesMSPhotographic/Shutterstock

Besides being an excellent tongue-twister, this phrase is a cheeky way to call out for buttered toast with jam. Hopefully, your toast is a little more tender than a roof tile. Speaking of jammy toast—here are 70 childhood classics all grown up.

Cowboy with spurs

Omelette in a plate on marble backgroundAleksey Boev/Shutterstock

While I wouldn’t mind sitting down across from a cowboy, this actually means a Western (or Denver) omelet with french fries. I know. I’m disappointed, too. Lift your spirits by learning how to make it at home.

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