Culinary Lexicon

The Twisted History Of Chicago’s ‘Slashies’

Whatever you call it, they've got parking in the rear.
Whatever you call it, they’ve got parking in the rear. Photo: Chi Cowboy/Flickr

Chicago’s iconic liquor stores-with-bars-in-them (or is it the other way around?) go by two names: taproom, or packaged goods store. And then there’s this upstart new moniker, “slashie,” which was first mentioned in print (in this context) in a 2006 Time Out Chicago piece on Chicago vocabulary, and has grown and flourished since then. Wait, what? Slashie? Where the hell did that come from, anyway?

The Straight Dope tracks the word’s etymology through numerous citations, straw polls, and public usages, and decides that “slashie=bar/liquor store isn’t an ancient Chicago term, but rather a recent derivation from slashie=person with dual roles, which in turn was popularized by a 2001 movie [Zoolander].” So now we know. But it doesn’t mean we like it any better. [The Straight Dope]

The Twisted History Of Chicago’s ‘Slashies’