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. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from March 08, 2013
Irish Handcuffs (alcoholic drinks in both hands)

“Irish handcuffs” is a slang term to describe having an alcoholic drink (such as a pint of Guinness) in each hand. “I spy him across the crowded room wearing Irish handcuffs, which of course means holding a glass of beer in each hand” was cited in print in 1997.
 
Both drinks don’t have to be beer—one hand could have a shot of whiskey. “Irish handcuffs: saloon slang; a beer and a shot” was cited in print in 1999. “Irish Handcuffs— that’s a pint in one hand and a whiskey in the other” was cited in 2009.
 
   
Google Books
The Reluctant Pornographer
By Bruce LaBruce
Toronto, Ont.: Gutter Press
1997
Pg. 171:
I spy him across the crowded room wearing Irish handcuffs, which of course means holding a glass of beer in each hand, one of which he shoves into my hand when I approach him, along with his tongue down my throat.
 
Google Books
How to Be Irish
(Even if You Already Are)

By Sean Kelly and Rosemary Rogers
New York, NY: Villard Books
1999
Pg. 74:
Irish handcuffs: saloon slang; a beer and a shot.
 
16 March 1999, New York (NY) Post, “It’s good for what ales you,” pg. 50:
It’s also famous for the legendary owner Stevie Duggan, who’s liable to put you in a set of Irish handcuffs—a pint of Guinness in each hand—if you become a regular.
 
SpaceBattles Debate Forums
What do you call two full beers occupying both hands of a person?
Irish handcuffs.
(...)
spacejozilla, Aug 23, 2001
 
Google Groups: rec.music.makers.songwriting
Newsgroups: rec.music.makers.songwriting
From: 60 cycle hum


Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 13:42:51 -0600
Local: Sun, Mar 14 2004 1:42 pm
Subject: Re: HAPPY ST. PAT’S DAY!
 
I’ll have irish handcuffs on that day
you know, a beer in each hand 😉
 
Urban Dictionary
Irish handcuffs
when a person is carrying an alcoholic beverage in both hands at the same time.
Hemish O’Maley was in Irish handcuffs last night at the pub. He always had a Guinness in each hand.
by jonesy Jun 23, 2004
   
To Serve Mankind
August 3, 2008
Bar and Restaurant Lingo
(...)
COMMENTS
Grady S says:
Irish Handcuffs- a guy holding two beer so he cannot fight, or throw a punch
November 17, 2011 at 12:23 pm
     
Google Books
Esquire: The Magazine for Men
Volume 152
2009
Pg. 66:
And we shake off the Irish Handcuffs— that’s a pint in one hand and a whiskey in the other, for those of you who only drink at the fancy cocktail bars— and switch to one-handed drinking when the angle of the little hand starts getting acute.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Friday, March 08, 2013 • Permalink


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