A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 19, 2011
Adam and Eve on a raft (poached eggs on toast)

"Adam and Eve” in diner lingo means an order of two eggs. The term “Adam and Eve” has been cited in print since at least 1891 and might have originated in an eating establishment on New York’s Bowery (see the 1899 citation below).

“Adam and Eve on a raft” (two poached eggs on toast) has been cited in print since at least 1892. “Adam and Eve on a raft & (ship)wreck ‘em” (two scrambled eggs on toast) has also been cited in print since at least 1892.


Wikipedia: Diner lingo
Diner lingo is a kind of American verbal slang used by cooks and chefs in diners and diner-style restaurants, and by the waitresses to communicate their orders to the cooks. It is virtually unknown outside the US.

History
The origin of the lingo is unknown, but there is evidence suggesting it may have been used by waiters as early as the 1870s and 1880s. Many of the terms used are lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek and some are a bit racy or ribald, but are helpful mnemonic devices for short-order cooks and staff.

List of terms
Adam & Eve on a log:
two poached eggs with link sausage
Adam & Eve on a raft: two poached eggs on toast
Adam & Eve on a raft & wreck ‘em: two scrambled eggs on toast

(Oxford English Dictionary)
Adam and Eve, n.
U.S. slang. In the language of short-order cooks: an order of eggs (in quot. 1891, ham and eggs). Chiefly in Adam and Eve on a raft: poached or fried eggs served on toast. Also Adam and Eve on a raft and wreck them and variants: scrambled eggs on toast. Cf. raft n.1 6.
1891 Sunday World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska) 22 Mar. 6 Ham and eggs is one of the most common orders, and in calling this to the kitchen the ‘hasher’ screams ‘Adam and Eve’.
1894 North-eastern Daily Gaz. (Middlesbrough) 15 Oct., One day he ordered poached eggs on toast. Going to the slide the waiter yelled out: ‘Adam and Eve on a raft.’ The order was changed to scrambled eggs, when the waiter rushed off, and in stentorian tones there came the alarming direction to those below: ‘Shipwreck that order!’
1899 Atlanta Constit. 17 July 5/3 An order for eggs on toast went to the kitchen as, ‘Adam and Eve on a raft,’ but if after giving this order the customer wanted the eggs plain, the countermand went out as, ‘Save Adam and Eve; sink the raft.’
1913 Collier’s 6 Dec. 28/4, Stools where a person could go in‥and order‥Adam and Eve on a raft and wreck them.

29 October 1892, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, “Gotham by ‘Phone,” pg. 2, col. 7:
“Here’s the newest and latest from the Bowery restaurant,” said he. “Man goes in determined to beat the waiter at his own game. ‘I’ll give an order he will have to call out to the cook as I give it,’ says the man. ‘Waiter,’ he says, ‘give me two poached eggs on toast and have the yolks of the eggs broken.’ Waiter looks mad, scratches his head and then smiles and yells down to the kitchen, ‘Adam and Eve on a raft. Wreck ‘em!’”

22 April 1895, Delphos (OH) Daily Herald, pg. 7, col. 1:
Slang of the Cheap Restaurant.
A stranger entered a cheap restaurant in Boston one day and on ordering dropped eggs on toast was astonished to hear the waiter yell to the cook: “Adam and Eve on a raft!” Then as the order was changed to scrambled eggs, he cried out quickly, “Shipwreck that order.”—Boston Budget.

Chronicling America
28 March 1896, The Sun (New York, NY), “Southern Lunch Counter Slang,” pg. 2, col. 6:
Ham and eggs are called “kansas City chicken and Adam and Eve.” “Adam and Eve” seems to be a favorite figure of speech for representing an egg, scrambled eggs being known as “adam and Eve shipwrecked,” while eggs on toast are called “Adam and Eve on a raft.” Other names for scrambled eggsare “agitated eggs,” “storm tossed,” and “eggs around the curve.”

17 July 1899, Atlanta (GA) Constitution, pg. 5, col. 3
STORY OF A QUEER
CAFE IN NEW YORK
(...)
Michael Casey, the original owner of the place which he styled a cafe, belonged to that class of men known in New York years ago as the “Bowery Boys.” Casey was a prominent member of this peculiar clan and up to the day of his death, which occurred a number of years ago, he always mentioned his connection with the boys as a matter of pride.
(...)(Col. 4—ed.)
“Shipwreck two” was the alarming order for scrambled eggs and “hand me down the B. and O.” was for steak smothered in onions.
(...)
An order for eggs on toast went to the kitchen as, “Adam and Eve on a raft,” but if after giving this order the customer wanted the eggs plain, the countermand went out as, “Save Adam and Eve; sink the raft.”

1 March 1936, New York (NY) Times, “Lexicon of the Soda Jerker” by Helen Dallas, pg. X10:
Expressions used throughout America include the famous “pig between two” for a ham sandwich, and “Adam and Eve on a raft—and wreck ‘em” for scrambled eggs on toast.

5 September 1971, New York (NY) Times, “The Traveler’s Guide to Hash-House Greek” by Dan Carlinsky, pg. XX1:
Adam and Eve on a raft. Two poached eggs on toast.
Pg. 7:
wreck ‘em. Of eggs, scramble them, as in Adam and Even on a raft, wreck ‘em; a stack of wheat, smeared; a large g.j., give me hail; a large o.j., hold it; draw two and make one with extra cow.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Monday, December 19, 2011 • Permalink