Diner lingo shortens a “grilled American cheese sandwich” to “GAC.” The term “GAC” is pronounced and often written as “Jack.” A “Jack” with bacon is called a ‘Jack Benny” or a “Jack Back” ("Jackback") or a “GACB.”
The term “GAC” for “grilled American cheese” is cited in a 1967 abbreviations dictionary. “Jack Back” is cited from at least 1973, “Jack Benny” is cited from 1977, and “GACB” is cited from 2009. All of these terms have very few recorded citations, however, so the amount of actual restaurant usage is in question.
Wikipedia: Diner lingo
GAC: Grilled American cheese sandwich. This was also called “jack” (from the pronunciation of “GAC")
Jack Benny: (named after Jack Benny, the comedian) cheese with bacon
Wikipedia: Cheese sandwich
Grilled cheese sandwich
A grilled cheese sandwich is a grilled (actually fried) or broiled sandwich consisting of two slices of bread (usually buttered) with cheese melted in between, sometimes combined with an additional ingredient such as peppers, tomatoes or onions. It is a simple variation on the normal cheese sandwich, and is sometimes known as a cheese sandwich, without any qualification. A variety of different names denote the same sandwich, such as cheese toastie or toasted cheese sandwich; in England and New Zealand it goes by toastie, in Australia it is commonly called a cheese jaffle, and in the Netherlands it is called a tosti.
Wikipedia: Jack Benny
Jack Benny (February 14, 1894 – December 26, 1974), born Benjamin Kubelsky, was an American comedian, vaudevillian, and actor for radio, television, and film. Widely recognized as one of the leading American entertainers of the 20th century, Benny played the role of someone comically “tight” with his money, insisting on remaining 39 years old despite his actual age, and often playing the violin badly.
Benny was known for his comic timing and his ability to get laughs with either a pregnant pause or a single expression, such as his signature exasperated “Well!” His radio and television programs, tremendously popular in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s were a foundational influence on the situation comedy.
By Ralph De Sola
New York, NY: Meredith Press
gac: grilled American cheese (sandwich)
jack back — grilled American cheese with bacon
Google News Archive
12 December 1977, Village Voice (NY), “Counter Code,” pg. 60, cols. 3-4:
Jack: Literal origin is GAC—grilled American cheese.
Jack Benny: Grilled American cheese with bacon.
Listening to America:
An illustrated history of words and phrases from our lively and splendid past
By Stuart Berg Flexner
New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
GAC, a grilled .American cheese sandwich, from the initials; also Jack, from pronouncing GAC. A Jack Benny is a Jack with bacon, the B of Benny standing for bacon and the whole term using the name of comedian Jack Benny, whose popular Sunday evening…
19 September 1990, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “The Diner” by Sylvia Carter:
A jack - grilled American cheese. Jackback - grilled cheese with bacon.
20 July 1992, Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader, “Short-order joints long on colorful vocabulary,” pg. B1:
And a grilled cheese sandwich with bacon was called “a Jack Benny.”
Google Groups: misc.writing.screenplays
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 20:33:16 GMT
Local: Mon, Jun 18 2001 3:33 pm
Subject: Re: Soda Jerk slang—anybody got a source?
Here are some other terms for you:
Rye bread = “whiskey” (easier to discern whiskey from white than rye from white, when you’re calling to the cook in a noisy kitchen)
Rye toast = “whiskey down” (any kind of toast is “down")
A grilled cheese = “Jack” (which is a pronunciation of its abbreviation, GAC which stands for Grilled American Cheese)
Grilled cheese with tomato = “Jack Tommy”
Grilled cheese with bacon = “Jack Back”
Grilled cheese with bacon and tomato = “Jack Back Tommy”
Grilled Swiss Cheese = “Jack Swiss”
Grilled Swiss Cheese with Tomato and Bacon on Rye = “Jack Swiss Back Tommy Whiskey”
Pancakes = “Stack”
Pancakes with Bacon = “Stack Back”
26 September 2001, Beaumont (TX) Enterprise, “I need a groundhog with bullets on wheels...”:
A grilled cheese is a GAC (grilled American cheese), pronounced “Jack.” A GAC with bacon is a “Jack Benny.”
A history of soda fountains
By Anne Cooper Funderburg
Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press
JACK: Grilled cheese sandwich.
JACK BACK: Grilled cheese and bacon sandwich
By Nicholas D Brown
Norm attacked his GACB, a grilled American cheese with bacon sandwich.
New York City • Food/Drink • (0) Comments • Monday, August 31, 2009 • Permalink