Posted by James McNelly on July 09, 2003
T%he first time I heard the term 86ed regarding a bar or cafe, I knew exactly what it meant. I worked for a power comapany and knew that devices are given standard numbers according to function. This saves a great deal of space on drawings. This numbering system is standard throughout the U.S. and Canada and possibly the whole world. 86 is the standard designation of (guess what?), the LOCKOUT RELAY. All electric company service men and linemen are familiar with this relay because in must be manually reset after a fault has been repaired. Linemen do a lot of out of town work and are traditionally a rowdy bunch. It is not uncommon for individuals to get barred( 86ed, LOCKED OUT) from bars of restaurants. It is easy to see how the expression would picked up by the bartenders etc.
Ask a electric serviceman anywhere in the country what the 86 is, and he will tell you it is the LOCKOUT.