greasy spoon

noun Slang.

a cheap and rather unsanitary restaurant.

Nearby words

  1. greaseproof paper,
  2. greaser,
  3. greasewood,
  4. greasies,
  5. greasy,
  6. greasy wool,
  7. great,
  8. great abaco,
  9. great ajax,
  10. great alföld

Origin of greasy spoon

An Americanism dating back to 1920–25 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for greasy spoon

greasy spoon


slang a small, cheap, and often unsanitary restaurant, usually specializing in fried foods
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with greasy spoon

greasy spoon

A cheap restaurant, especially one serving short-order fried foods. For example, College students short of cash tend to eat a lot in that greasy spoon. This expression also implies that the restaurant is not very clean. [c. 1900]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.