soda jerk

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soda jerk

dated An attendant at a drug store who would prepare and serve flavored carbonated beverages ("sodas"). The "jerk" part of the phrase is a pun on "clerk," and the jerking motion of the soda fountain spigots while pouring. Popular in the lead up to the 1940s–'50s, when drugstores sold food and drinks from behind a counter. Back when I was your age, I had to work as a soda jerk every day of the week in order to afford my first car. The retro-themed café even had a section meant to resemble an old-timey drugstore, complete with a soda jerk and soda fountain!
See also: jerk, soda

soda jerk

Drug store counterman. Those of us old enough to remember when pharmacies sold nothing but medicine and medications, magazines and comic books, candy, and soda fountain treats, a man behind the zinc-and-marble counter made and dispensed sodas, frappes, milkshakes, malteds, and other ice cream–based concoctions, as well as banana splits, Cokes, lime rickeys, and dozens of other refreshments. He was the soda jerk, the name coming from the fountain dispensers with handles that he jerked down to pour seltzer and other soft drinks. For some unclear reason, women weren't soda jerks.
See also: jerk, soda
References in periodicals archive ?
Back at the soda fountain, what sweet-toothed romantic can turn down a cute soda jerk grinning as he suggests a "Raspberry soda infused with peach ice cream and sweet cream" or a "Cherry Bomb, made with a ball of chocolate ice cream dropped into a cherry soda."
It's easy for soda-speakers to trace the origins of their word choice from soda water through soda jerks to the present, and, while it may seem strange to some to call all soft drinks by one brand name, Band-Aids, Xerox and Kleenex offer ample evidence of this trend.
It's time to challenge the soda jerks to a shake-off milkshake vs.
Play 50's music in the background and have the employees dress up like soda jerks.
Walgreens' reputation in the soda fountain business was solidified in 1922 when one of its soda jerks invented the milk shake and the drink became an immediate hit at counters from coast to coast.
If you're looking for a fun atmosphere, this chain brings patrons back the bygone days of soda jerks and jukeboxes.