For the latest installment of Slate's podcast , I look at how the seemingly random number eighty-six became a verb meaning to get rid of something, thanks to a long-forgotten code of hash houses and soda-fountain lunch counters.
is language columnist for and former language columnist for and . He has worked as editor for American dictionaries at Oxford University Press and as a consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary. In addition to his regular "Word Routes" column here, he contributes to the group weblog . He is also the chair of the New Words Committee of the .Click here to read other articles by Ben Zimmer
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