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 February 14, 2008
Slider or Slyder (mini-hamburger)

"Sliders” (or “slyders") are mini-hamburgers emerged on the New York restaurant scene in the 1990s. “Slyders” have been trademarked by the White Castle restaurant chain and some claim that the term was used to describe White Castle hamburgers as far back as the 1920s, but most White Castle “slyder” citations date from the early 1980s. The term “slider” for “hamburger” appears on a Chicago slang list in 1974.

There is considerable evidence that “slider” was a term used for a hamburger in the United States Navy, perhaps as early as the 1940s or 1950s. The term “slider” meant a greasy burger that slid in easily. A “slider with a lid” was a cheeseburger.

Other nicknames for White Castle hamburgers include the unofficial “rectum rocket,” “belly bomber” and “whitey one-bite.”


Wikipedia: White Castle
White Castle is the oldest American hamburger fast food restaurant chain. It is known for square burgers, sometimes referred to as “sliders” (officially spelled and trademarked as “Slyders").  They were priced at five cents until the 1940s, and remained at ten cents for years thereafter while growing smaller. For several years, when the original burgers sold for five cents, White Castle periodically ran promotional ads in local newspapers which contained coupons offering five burgers for ten cents, takeout only. The typical White Castle restaurant architecture features a white exterior with a crenelated tower at one corner to resemble a medieval castle. The Chicago Water Tower, which stands on Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile, is said to be the model for the classic building.

Google Books
Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang
by Jonathon Green
Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
2006
Pg. 1303:
slider n. [1940s-1960s] (US) a small, greasy hamburger.

Google Books
The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English
by Eric Partridge, Tom Dalzell and Terry Victor
Vol. II J-Z
Taylor & Francis
2005
Pg. 1779
Slider noun
a hamburger or cheeseburger
Originally the small hamburgers sold by the White Tower chain, later any hamburger.

2 February 1974, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Teen talk too tough? Crack the code now” by Stephanie Fuller and Peter Gorner, pg. W11:
Slider: n. A hamburger.
(By “Chicago Tribune’s Teen Task Force”—ed.)

12 May 1981, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “People” by Bill Plunkett, pg. 24:
Those 2,700 folks out there in Fountain Hills, Ariz., sure like those sliders. You may recall that last November townsfolk celebrated their 10th anniversary by placing an order for 10,000 burgers with White Castle, based in Columbus, Ohio. The order was to go.

Google News Archive
19 May 1982, Bryan (OH) Times, “White Castle hamburgers inspire following” by Tim Bryant (UPI), pg. 2, col.
In Chicago, White Castle burgers are called “whitey one-bites.” St. Louisans call them “belly bombers” or sliders.”

18 July 1985, Los Angeles (CA) Times, Business section, pg. 1:
Some folks call it the “slider” while others call it the “four-biter,” “biscuit burger” or “mini-burger.”

15 May 1986, Dallas (TX) Morning News:
Turley says the burgers’ nickname, “slider,” is “like trading insults with a close friend. You’re not really insulting him; it is a term of affection.

1 June 1986, Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader, pg. B5:
The hamburger joint’s journey into ubiquity began in 1921 with White Castle ... moist mass that’s earned such nicknames as “slider,” “gut bomb” and “belly buster.”

7 May 1988, New York (NY) Times, pg. 49:
Yet the constancy of the chain’s two-ounce square burgers has bred fierce loyalty among some customers, who have affectionately nicknamed them “sliders,” “belly bombers” and “gut busters.”

26 March 1993, Dayton (OH) Daily News:
The sandwiches are spelled Slyders, not Sliders. The nickname for those little White Castle burgers reportedly was coined by aviator Earl Rowland in the 1920s. Rowland said he bought them by the sack as he barnstormed across the country. On a 1929 tour he said he stopped at 98 White Castles.

Google Books
Hornet’s Nest
by Lt. Commander William H. Labarge, USN
New York, NY: Penguin Group USA
1991
Pg. 204:
SLIDER—hamburger

Google Books
Without Remorse
by Tom Clancy
New York, NY: Putnam
1993
Pg. 471:
“Prisoners,” a bosun’s mate third-class said, finishing his hamburger, called a “slider’ ‘ in the Navy.

Google Books
Mariner’s Book of Days
by Peter H. Spectre
Sheridan House, Inc.
2005
Pg. 1910:
FOOD SLANG, MODERN-DAY NAVY
(...)
Slider—hamburger (so greasy it slides)
Slider with a lid—cheeseburger

Google Books
Gangway Regular Navy!
Memoirs of Life and Humor in the United States Navy During the Cold War
by Richard I. Merrell
Westminster, MD: Heritage Books
2005
Pg. 22:
Key West had an incredible mess hall located in an old, beat-up, wooden, screened in shack. (...) Incredibly, some guys would actually choose a grease-laden hamburger, also known as a “slider,” over the prime seafood selection that was laid out before them.
Pg. 206:
Sliders: The standard, greasy, pre-formed hamburger.

Google Books
Parris Island Daze
by Bob Shirley
2006
Pg. 171:
We had all sorts of exotic dishes and associated names to identify them. Hamburgers were “sliders,” hot dogs were “rollers,” baloney was “tube steak,” smaller baloney was “horse cock,” and small breakfast sausages were “monkey dicks.”
Pg. 244:
Slider...hamburger

Ask MetaFilter
Whence slider?
February 12, 2008 7:52 PM
(...)
Sliders are small hamburgers, probably invented by White Castle, but as meerkatty said, they are popular at a lot of nice restaurants these days. Here’s one example. Even Thomas Keller, of the French Laundry, occasionally serves them in NYC at Bouchon Bakery.
posted by ecab at 8:07 PM on February 12
(...)
The term might have originated in the Navy.

Sailors of the U.S. Navy call Wednesday “slider day,” after the greasy grilled burgers served at evening chow on ships across the fleet. (source)
posted by Iridic at 8:40 PM on February 12
(...)
Thirding Iridic and QueSeraSera concerning the Navy origins. Slider is a hamburger. A slider with lid is a cheeseburger. I’ve seen the term referenced in books about the Navy going back decades. I’m not positive, but I really do suspect it began there and got appropriated for the other usage later, possibly by the same sailors and marines who served on ship.
posted by empyrean at 3:04 AM on February 13
(...)
Sliders are all over Manhattan now, from Shake Shack to upscale restaurants, but White Castle was the first place I ever noticed the word, too, about 15 yrs ago.
posted by rokusan at 10:57 AM on February 13

(Trademark)
Word Mark SLYDERS
Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 042. US 100. G & S: HAMBURGER SLYDER
RESTAURANT FRANCHISING. FIRST USE: 19830101. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE:
19830105
Mark Drawing Code (3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS
Serial Number 73436740
Filing Date July 11, 1983
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Owner (APPLICANT) CHICAGO HAMBURGER CO. RESTAURANT, CORP CORPORATION
ILLINOIS 306 N. GALENA ST. FREEPORT ILLINOIS 61032
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Abandonment Date October 31, 1984

(Trademark)
Word Mark SLIDERS
Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 030. US 046. G & S: FAST FOOD HAMBURGERS. FIRST USE: 19830215. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19830301
Mark Drawing Code (3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS
Serial Number 73419891
Filing Date April 4, 1983
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Owner (APPLICANT) GARNER CORPORATION CORPORATION COLORADO 6600 E. HAMPDEN AVE. 3RD FLOOR DENVER COLORADO 80224
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Abandonment Date November 17, 1983

(Trademark)
Word Mark SLIDERS
Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 042. US 100. G & S: RESTAURANT SERVICES. FIRST USE: 19830420. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19830420
Mark Drawing Code (5) WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS IN STYLIZED FORM
Serial Number 73440658
Filing Date August 23, 1983
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Owner (APPLICANT) PAGANES, RICHARD UR DBA, SLIDERS HAMBURGER STAND INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 30991 UTICA RD. ROSEVILLE MICHIGAN 48066
Attorney of Record WILLIAM J. SCHRAMM
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Abandonment Date March 21, 1984

(Trademark)
Word Mark SLYDERS
Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: prepared sandwiches for
consumption on or off the premises. FIRST USE: 19930314. FIRST USE IN
COMMERCE: 19930314
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 74384698
Filing Date April 30, 1993
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Supplemental Register Date May 4, 1994
Registration Number 1861520
Registration Date November 1, 1994
Owner (REGISTRANT) White Castle System, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 555
West Goodale Street Columbus OHIO 432151171
(LAST LISTED OWNER) WHITE CASTLE MANAGEMENT CO. CORPORATION DELAWARE
555 W. GOODALE ST. COLUMBUS OHIO 43215
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register SUPPLEMENTAL
Affidavit Text SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20041214.
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 20041214
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, February 14, 2008 • Permalink


i always thought in my submarine days they were called sliders because they were frozen preformed hamburgers that when thrown on a standard navy grill they slid.

Posted by dennis baber  on  07/01  at  05:54 PM

I have been eating White Castle burgers for 70 years. I remember the price was six cents at about the time I had the first one. The nearest castle was 40 miles round trip but we made the trip often in my dad’s 1929 Model A Ford first. I for one realize that the name, “Sliders” refered to the laxative effect that they caused. They are available now in AZ grocery stores at an extremely inflated price which rises monthly. Don’t look for pickle though. With the price rise came the pickle disappearance.

Posted by Jim McGrew  on  05/13  at  03:37 PM

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