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 14, 2009
Double Dip

"Double dip” (or “double-dip") was popularized by a 1993 episode of the television comedy Seinfeld. A person dipped a chip into the chip dip, took a bite of the chip, and then re-dipped the chip into the chip dip.  One character watched this and fumed: “That’s like putting your whole mouth right in the dip! From now on, when you take a chip – just take one dip and end it!” A scientific study of such “double dipping” found that the procedure does, indeed, spread plenty of germs.

“Double-dip matches” (coated twice) were manufactured by 1907. Cattle “double dipping” (in a solution to eliminate cattle ticks) is another usage of the term from the early 1900s. In 1941, Louisiana had a “double dip” scandal—people who were doubly compensated for their work.

A Davenport, Iowa, drugstore in 1928 advertised “Schlegel’s Double Dip Malted Milks” (malted milk shakes with two scoops of ice cream). “Double dip cones” (cones with two scoops of ice cream) have been cited in print since 1929.


(Oxford English Dictionary)
double dip
1. The process or result of dipping or immersing twice (freq. attrib.); spec. (N. Amer.), an ice-cream cone made with two scoops or portions of ice cream.
1936 Ice Cream Rev. Sept. 62/1 The fellows who have..small double-dip stands..are having a hard time.
1940 R. SUTTLE How to operate Retail Ice Cream Stores 26a Double-Dip Cones, 18 Double-dip cones per gallon.
1965 Tamarack Rev. XXXIV. 6 He sprinkles orange and red and chocolate flakes of candy on top of the double-dips; this costs a nickel.
1971 Engineering Apr. 63/1 For large articles..a double-dip technique may be employed; this entails immersing each half in turn.
2. fig. and transf.
1963 Lebende Sprachen VIII. 106/1 [Driver’s vocabulary] Double dip.
1965 Wall St. Jrnl. 8 Jan. 2/4 The so-called ‘double dip’, in which some state laws permit a double payment of jobless benefits for a single period of unemployment.

Hence double-dipper, double-dipping, esp. the practice of holding a second job, usu. in government or municipal service, (or of obtaining retirement benefit from this) while enjoying a pension from one’s former employment.
1940 B. LEACH Potter’s Bk. vi. 145, I use double dipping whenever I can grip the pot by the foot sufficiently firmly...By this method..the inside and outside of a pot are glazed with one movement.
1975 Harper’s Mag. Sept. 28/2 At Congressional hearings called to investigate this ‘double dipping’, it was revealed that then FEO head William Simon had repeatedly..been urged to remove Bowen.

2 June 1907, New York (NY) Times, “War on Parlor Matches,” pg. 11:
“The double-dip match is a recent invention, and is the combining of two match heads, of directly opposite characteristics, into one; that is, the splint is first dipped into a composition, similar to that used in the safety match, and the second dip is similar to the sulphur match composition. While we cannot recommend this match, we believe it has redeeming features that deserve creditable mention, such as, the head will not fly, a frictionless collar protects the sensitive phosphorous tip, rough handling of packages is not liable to cause ignition. An exception to this statement should be made in the case of a double-dip match using phosphorous throughout.”

16 June 1910, Lima (OH) Daily News, pg. 5, col. 1 ad:
Search Light or double dip matches
1 doz boxes in package...39c

17 March 1918, Dallas (TX) Morning News, part four, pg. 3:
DOUBLE DIPPING ORDERED
FOR CATTLE FROM TEXAS.
Oklahoma City, Ok., March 16.—An order made by the State Department of Agriculture today, effective April 1, will prohibit cattle coming from Texas to Oklahoma without having been dipped twice and certified as clean of cattle ticks.

5 November 1920, Lowell (MA) Sun, pg. 9, col. 1 ad:
SPECIAL—Assorted Chocolates, double dip, lb. ... 43c
(The Venus Confectionery Company—ed.)

15 June 1928, Davenport (IA) Democrat and Leader, pg. 6, col. 5 ad:
Schlegel’s Double Dip
Malted Milks
20c

13 August 1929, Xenia (OH) Evening Gazette, pg. 7, col. 1 ad:
ICE CREAM
Double Dip Cones 5c

Google Books
The Brown and Gold
By Western Michigan University, Michigan. Western Michigan College of Education
1932
Pg. 367 ad:
DOUBLE DIP!
“ICE CREAM STORE”
WHERE YOU GET THE LARGEST CONES IN TOWN

Google Books
Power Wagon
v. 50-51
1933
Pg. 16:
Some commercial genius conceived the idea of a “double dip” cone for a nickel. Was he permitted to prosper alone? No. Thousands of other ice cream merchants…

Google Books
Louisiana Hayride
By Harnett Thomas Kane
New York, NY: William Morrow
1941
Pg. 347:
Louisiana had a new scandal term— “double dip.” The boys had sunk their scoops twice in the pap.

6 January 1942, Dunkirk (NY) Evening Observer, “First Honest Administration in Louisiana in 12 Years Is Proving Bore to People” by Henry McLemore, pg. 6, col. 5:
The state legislators now are on only one pay roll. The only “double dipping” that is done these days is done on cattle.

1 August 1954, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Noted Inventor,” part 1, pg. 16:
Italo Marchiony, said to be the originator of the ice-cream cone, died the other day at his home in Cliffdale Park, N.J. He was eighty-six years old.
(...)
Certainly, if Marchiony invented this great boon to mankind, he deserves full and unequivocal credit for it. The same can not be said of the unknown fiend who invented the double- and triple-dip of ice cream for the cone. More automobile seats and floors have been ruined by these monstrous scoopings than most patriots like to contemplate. The double-dip cone is the only demonstrable flaw in our otherwise perfect economy of abundance.

Google Groups: alt.fan.cecil-adams
Newsgroups: alt.fan.cecil-adams
From: “Dennis Matheson”
Date: 1999/07/20
Subject: Re: The Double Dip Cone: Not a Cultural Universal?

Matt Miller wrote in message ...
>>snip<<
> I don’t know about NYC, but I imagine the phrase “double dip”
>would get a blank stare in CA. Just like the one I’m giving the screen
>right now.
> I take it it means “two scoops”.

I assume it is from context but I have always heard “double dip” as referring to dipping your chip in the salsa, taking a bite, then dipping the same chip a second time.

Google Groups: alt.fan.cecil-adams
Newsgroups: alt.fan.cecil-adams
From: Bear
Date: 1999/07/21
Subject: Re: The Double Dip Cone: Not a Cultural Universal?

US Midwest, ‘50s and ‘60s: “double dip” meant two scoops of ice cream.

World of Seinfeld
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Double-dip (Seinfeld quote)
[At a wake (!): George takes a chip from the bowl, dips it, takes a bite, and then dips again. Timmy (the brother of George’s girlfriend) hurriedly comes over.]

TIMMY: What are you doing?
GEORGE: What?
TIMMY: Did … did you just double-dip that chip?
GEORGE: Excuse me?
TIMMY: You double-dipped the chip!
GEORGE: “Double-dipped”? What are you talking about?
TIMMY: You dipped the chip. You took a bite. And you dipped again.
GEORGE: So…?
TIMMY: That’s like putting your whole mouth right in the dip! From now on, when you take a chip – just take one dip and end it!
GEORGE: Well, I’m sorry, Timmy … but I don’t dip that way. [George takes a chip]
TIMMY: Oh, you don’t, huh?
GEORGE: No. [dips the chip] You dip the way you want to dip … [takes a bite of the chip] I’ll dip the way I want to dip. [double-dips the chip]
TIMMY: Give me the chip! [Grabs George and the chip goes flying.] Give me the chip! [George and Timmy start to struggle.]

New York (NY) Times
The Curious Cook
Dip Once or Dip Twice?

By HAROLD McGEE
Published: January 30, 2008
(...)
The kind of dip made a difference in a couple of ways. The more acidic water samples had somewhat fewer bacteria, and the numbers of bacteria declined with time. But the acidic salsa picked up higher initial numbers of bacteria than the cheese or chocolate, because it was runny. The thicker the dip, the more stuck to the chip, and so the fewer bacteria were left behind in the bowl.

Professor Dawson said that Timmy was essentially correct. “The way I would put it is, before you have some dip at a party, look around and ask yourself, would I be willing to kiss everyone here? Because you don’t know who might be double dipping, and those who do are sharing their saliva with you.”

Ken Poe’s MySpace Blog
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Is it okay to double dip in the chip dip?
Category: Food and Restaurants
It’s not okay to double dip in the chip dip.

In one study, scientists took a bite of cracker and then dipped it into salsa, cheese dip, chocolate syrup and water. They did the same test with a fresh, un-bitten cracker. Then they measured bacteria in the dips and the volunteers’ mouths. On average, three to six double dips transferred about 10,000 bacteria from the eater’s mouth to the dip. And each cracker picked up between one and two grams of dip. Salsa picked up the most germs from double dipping. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Monday, September 14, 2009 • Permalink