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 September 12, 2009
Mayo (mayonnaise)

"Mayo” (short for “mayonnaise") is one term that has survived from lunch counter lingo to enter into standard American English. “Mayo” is cited in print from at least 1940, with “hold the mayo” cited from 1967.


Wikipedia: Diner lingo
Mayo: mayonnaise

Mayo Connections
Mayonnaise
(or Mayo)

What is Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise is a semi-solid emulsion of vegetable oil (typically olive) and egg yolk (or whole egg) with vinegar or lemon juice, seasoned with salt, sugar, and perhaps spices

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Main Entry: mayo
Pronunciation: \ˈmā-(ˌ)ō\
Function: noun
Date: circa 1960
: mayonnaise

(Oxford English Dictionary)
mayo, n.
colloq. (orig. U.S.).
= MAYONNAISE n. 1b.
1940 N.Y. Herald Tribune 17 Mar. (This Week Mag.) 6/1 He takes L. T. [= lettuce and tomato] on toast with lots of mayo.
1969 L. HELLMAN in Atlantic Apr. 118 Run down to the corner and get me a ham and cheese on rye and tell them to hold the mayo.
1990 London Life Mag. 23 Oct. 9/2 The Hamburger..with its garlic mayo and onions.
1995 Loaded July 16/4 A large smothering of mayo and a slap down of the other crust of bread signal the fish finger sandwich is complete.

17 March 1940, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, This Week magazine, pg. 6, col. 1:
SODA POPPERS
have a word for it
For what?  For plenty—including the
doghouse that Mack got himself into
with Julie, the beauteous tray doll

by Jerome Barry
WHEN Ray Carlin was sent over to be sandwich cutter at the office store ofthe McCutcheon drugstore chain, he learned right away that it was dangerous to trust to the soda poppers’ secret language.

Of course, it was all right to use theeveryday terms—“81” for a glass of water, “square two” for a couple of doughnuts, “farmer’s lunch” for a banana split, and so on. However, if you wanted to call a pal’s attention to a pretty girl and sang out, “Check the ice!” you were likely to get a bawling out for being fresh.  You see, the national offices ofthe McCutcheon chain took up several floors in the office building overhead, and anyone who dropped into the store for a sandwich might be a “99”—an official, in plain English—and well versed in the argot of the soda counter.
(...)
He said quietly, so that Hatchet-face couldn’t hear him, “Make it D. O. style, Ray. Strictly D. O.”
(...)
Now, when you’re cutting a sandwich for an official, you’d better cut it 99 style—strictly according to the formula in the card file that lays down the specifications for that particular kind of sandwich. The big boys consider that if you cut it bromo style--strictly terrible, to punish a non-tipper—you’re displeasing a customer; if you chop it D. O. style, for a fellow who “dusts off” the soda men with a good tip, you’re giving away more than he pays for and whittling down the company’s gross profit.
(...)
“This is the noblest Roman of them all;
He takes L. T. on toast with lots of mayo.
And always dusts us off with dimes and quarters.”

22 June 1960, Raleigh Register (Beckley, WV), “Bug Dust” by C. J. McQuade, pg. 4, col. 7:
CB, Rye, Hold the B,
Is Vanishing Jargon

(...)
A ham and American cheese sandwich on rye bread with mayonnaise becomes a Dutch combo, mayo.

Google Books
Introduction to Psychology
4th edition
By Ernest Ropiequet Hilgard and Richard C. Atkinson
New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace & World
1967
Pg. 463:
An expression such as “combo wheat, hold the mayo” cannot be defined from the dictionary, but it is perfectly clear in its context.

28 September 1971, Oakland (CA) Tribune, “Stage and Screen” by Robert Taylor, pg. 43, col. 1:
At another lunch counter and bar, I heard this campy exchange between a waitress and the counter man: “Gimme a wedgie on rye, hold the mayo.” “Sorry, sweetheart, we can’t break up the pair.”

Internet Movie Database
Memorable quotes for
Airplane! (1980)

Operator: [Captain Oveur is on the phone with the Mayo Clinic] Excuse me, Captain Oveur, but I have an emergency call on line 5 from a Mr. Hamm.
Captain Oveur: Alright, give me a Hamm on 5, hold the Mayo.

OCLC WorldCat record
How to eat like a Republican, or Hold the Mayo, Muffy, I’m feeling Miracle whipped tonight
Author: Susanne Grayson Townsend
Publisher: New York : Villard, ©2004.
Edition/Format: Book : English

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Saturday, September 12, 2009 • Permalink