Cassidese Glossary – Eighty-Six

For some time now, some of my on-line friends have advised me to provide a version of CassidySlangScam without the invective aimed at Cassidy and his supporters. In response to that advice, I am working on providing a glossary of the terms in Cassidy’s ludicrous book How The Irish Invented Slang with a short, simple and business-like explanation of why Cassidy’s version is wrong.

There is no certainty about the origin of the term ‘to eighty-six someone’, which is an American term meaning to bar someone. The best suggestion seems to be that it is some kind of rhyming slang based on the word ‘nix’.

This may or may not be true, but it is certainly a better suggestion than Cassidy’s claim. It is worth quoting Cassidy’s version in full here:

Eighty-six, n., to be barred from a saloon (or any place); to be denied hospitality.

Éiteachas aíocht, Éiteachas aíochta (pron. et’ǝċǝs íċtǝ, et’ǝhǝs íċtǝ), ph., denial of hospitality; refusal of lodging (for a night); refusal of service; fig., to be barred or expelled. (Ó Dónaill, 25, 494.)

It is true that the word eiteachas (not éiteachas) means refusal and that aíocht means hospitality or lodging. However, there is no evidence that anyone has ever put them together in Irish to mean anything, let alone the ‘figurative’ meaning of being barred or expelled. This phrase was invented by Daniel Cassidy and does not exist.

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