"Coffee” has been defined as “break fluid”—a pun on the terms “coffee break” and “brake fluid.” The saying is sold on coffee mugs (of course) and has been cited in print from the 1960s and 1970s.
“Coffee, n. the person upon whom one coughs” is another jocular definition.
Coffee, n. break fluid.
Mug by aleen27
20 May 1965, Newport (RI) Daily News, pg. 5, col. 4:
“A small coffee shop near several service stations advertises ‘Coffee Break Fluid.’”
Dictionary of Quotable Definitions
Compiled by Eugene E. Brussell
Published by Prentice-Hall
R. R. Anderson
14 December 1975, Lebanon (PA) Daily News, Family Weekly, “Quips & Quotes,” pg. 19, col. 3:
Coffee: Break fluid.—Dorothea Kent
28 April 1977, Robesonian (Lumberton, NC), pg. 2, col. 7 ad:
When you need to stop, you should have good break fluid! The right fluid for your every break is Hanka Coffee!
31 December 1984,
What coffee often is—A “BREAK” FLUID
Coffee, n. break fluid. ~ Author unknown. Because workaholics need a break, too. (Or at least, an attempt at one ...)
(This blog began in August 2008—ed.)