greasy spoon


Definition of greasy spoon

: a dingy small cheap restaurant

Did you know?

In the decades following its first use in 1902, the surrounding context of greasy spoon usually included words along the lines of lousy, wind up eating in, slinging hash, the underside of society, settle for, or rather starve. And while things haven't changed entirely, a recent wave of nostalgia has elevated the status of greasy spoons. Since the 1970s, the descriptions might contain words like fabled, distinction, beloved, classic, an institution, fondness for, and comfort food. Now you can consult a Greasy Spoon Guide and read up on Best Greasy Spoons, or lunch at a diner restored to look like a greasy spoon. Some of these eateries are now even named "The Greasy Spoon."

Examples of greasy spoon in a Sentence

We ate at some greasy spoon near the bus station.
Recent Examples on the Web Two nights earlier, someone climbed on the roof of the Tuscaloosa greasy spoon and snatched the script-A sign from the spot Lewis bolted it in more than 20 years ago. Michael Casagrande |, al, 19 Oct. 2020 By Monday, they will be cleared for action flicks at the cineplex and burgers at their favorite greasy spoon. Anchorage Daily News, 23 Apr. 2020 Imagine if some enterprising chef brought the best of the United States’ greasy spoon diner dishes to some other country, enchanting the locals with chili cheese fries, jalapeño poppers, and chicken and waffles. Soleil Ho,, 12 Mar. 2020 The folklorists discovered cowboy poems printed in agricultural magazines, on feed store calendars, even on menus in greasy spoon diners. Ryan T. Bell, National Geographic, 30 Jan. 2020 Just north of Boston, on the other side of the Mystic River: an unlikely engine of upward mobility in a land of greasy spoons and auto body shops and modest two-family homes with chain-link fences., 11 Oct. 2019 If the allegations against Arroyo are true and the sprawling probe is any indication: Folks don’t do their deals at greasy spoon Loop restaurants any more. Lisa Donovan,, 28 Oct. 2019 In 1938, Howard around Fourth Street was the South of the Slot neighborhood and the heart of Skid Row, filled with cheap rooming houses, bars, pawnshops, greasy spoons and liquor stores. Gary Kamiya,, 28 June 2019 New Jersey is known as the diner capital of the world thanks to the hundreds of greasy spoons within the Garden States borders. Rebecca Deczynski, Good Housekeeping, 4 June 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'greasy spoon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of greasy spoon

1902, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of greasy spoon was in 1902

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Dictionary Entries Near greasy spoon

greasy grind

greasy spoon

greasy spot

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Cite this Entry

“Greasy spoon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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