A “soup jockey” is restaurant slang for a waiter or waitress. “Soup jockey” appears to have first been used in railroad dining cars to refer to a cook—not a waiter or waitress—and is cited in print from 1924. By the 1930s, a “soup jockey” was a term for a waitress (usually not used for a waiter). The slang is not used today.
Wikipedia: Diner lingo
Soup jockey: waitress
Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang
By Jonathon Green
soup jockey n. [1930s] (US) a waiter or waitress. [SE soup + JOCKEY n.3 (2)]
The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English: J-Z
By Eric Partridge, Tom Dalzell and Terry Victor
New York, NY: Routledge
soup jockey noun
a cook for a railway work crew US
• — J. Herbert Lund, Herb’s Hot Box of Railroad Slang, p. 82, 1975
By Los Angeles Railway Corporation
I know a soup jockey named Harry
Who made this wise crack, “I’ll ne’er marry”
13 July 1936, Van Nuys (CA) News, pg. 8, col. 3:
Forger with a homer and single to her credit lead the attack for the soup jockeys.
(Waitresses, playing baseball—ed.)
Commercial Car Journal
SOUP JOCKEY — waitress
11 October 1939, Kingston (NY) Daily Freeman, “Expert Advises Against Using Restaurant Lingo,” pg. 9, col. 4:
Headwaiters should never employ the old-fashioned trick of speeding up service by shouting: “Get a move on, you soup jockeys.”
The American Mercury
“Besides, my girl’s a soup jockey at the all-nighter half way to Meadville.” Soup jockey? That would be a waitress, I supposed.
By American Dialect Society
SOUP JOCKEY. Waitress.
11 April 1942, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “The Marines Have Landed a Movie on Their Life,” sec. II, pg. 3:
The soup jockeys around San Diego are the ones to know the vocabulary.
Mikes Don’t Bite
By Helen Johnson Sioussat
New York, NY: L. B. Fischer
Restaurants have a language all their own, all the way from Maine to California. For instance a waitress is a “soup jockey,” a grapefruit is “a squirt,” a codfish is a “submarine turkey,” spareribs, “a pig’s corset,” tapioca pudding, “a pot of glue,” and a large glass of milk, “white moo and stretch it.”
Santa Fe: The railroad that built an empire
By James Leslie Marshall
New York, NY: Random House
Soup jockey Cook
Nonsense, U. S. A.:
A collection of nonsensical Americana
By Dick Hyman
New York, NY: Dutton
... “soup jockey” is a waitress in an all-night lunch room;...
7 April 1956, Vidette-Messenger (Valparaiso, IN), pg. 4, col. 3:
“I am having to learn the circus vocabulary,” says Val, “and I have learned that I’m a ‘first of May’—that means a new employe. I now say ‘cook house’ instead of restaurant, know that a ‘soup jockey’ is a waiter and that aerialists are either catchers or flyers.”
Simon and Schuster Crossword Puzzle Book #240
By John M. Samson
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
DINERESE by John M. Samson
In diners, soup jockeys are waitresses and bubble dancers are dishwashers.
New York City • Food/Drink • (0) Comments • Thursday, September 10, 2009 • Permalink