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.

Recent entries:
“We all deserve morning sex and pancakes” (2/28)
“I’m getting pancakes with a side of pancakes” (2/28)
“He who goes to bed hungry dreams of pancakes” (2/28)
“One does not simply have ‘one’ pancake” (2/28)
“The laziest man I ever met put popcorn in his pancakes so they’d turn over by themselves” (2/28)
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Entry from September 09, 2014
“No coffee, no workee”

"No coffee, no workee” is a jocular saying that has been printed on many gift items, such as coffee mugs, T-shirts and bumper stickers. “No tickee, no shirtee/washee” is the classic and much-imitated Chinese laundry saying that dates to the 19th century; the saying and its variations are often regarded as a Chinese slur.

“No coffee, no workee” has been cited in print since at least 1901, 1944 and 1975.


24 January 1901, Massillon (OH) Independent, “Near By Towns,” pg. 5, col. 3:
The last time they gave five reasons for not going to work until food was forthcoming, namely: no bready, no meaty, no sugar, no coffee, no workee.

18 April 1944, The Daily Herald (Biloxi, MS), pg. 4, col. 1:
NO COFFEE—NO WORKEE
The refusal of the Bethlehem Steel Works management in New Jersey to allow “coffee carriers” to take coffee to the workers in their extra or overtime period from 4:40 to six, when another shift came on, caused 3100 men to walk out.

4 September 1975, The Evening Times (Trenton, NJ), “Fuessel’s biggest job,” pg. 3, col. 3:
“One company pulled out in the morning when they couldn’t get any coffee, he says, declining to name the fire company. “I guess it was a case of no coffee, no workee...” he says, his voice trailing into the laughter of some of the men around him.

Google Groups: alt.underground
How annoying…
Kira
2/15/01
(...)
Kira
** no coffee no workee**

Twitter
Cosmo
‏@Cosmok9
Just saw a great bumper sticker: “No coffee, no workee”. No kidding. I hope everybodys Friday is as good as I hope mine is. Lol.
6:52 AM - 4 May 2007

Google Books
1,001 Facts that Will Scare the S#*t Out of You:
The Ultimate Bathroom Reader

By Cary McNeal
Avon, MA: Adams Media
2010
Pg. 3:
Related fact: Three of five office coffee mugs feature sayings that are meant to befunny but aren’t, like “Bean me up, Scotty”and “No coffee, no workee.”

Google Books
Tropical Quests:
A Key West Novel

By Wesley Sizemore
Minneapolis, MN: Two Harbors Press
2013
Pg. 396:
Instead of showing up on our jobsites thenext morning, we protested back in forth in front of the laundromat with signs saying: “NO COFFEE, NO WORKEE” and: “NO FUEL, NO ROCKETS.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Tuesday, September 09, 2014 • Permalink