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What makes a slider a slider?

So I looked through some other posts, and I got a sense that a slider is a small burger, White Castle size. Except there are some places around where I live that sell burgers that people call sliders, and they're not particularly small. They're greasy, delicious, wrapped in waxed paper, but they seem pretty normal-size. So what, officially, makes a slider a slider? And why the name? 'Cause they slide right down? Help!

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  1. Except for a French Canadian who thinks that a slider is a flat ribbon-like dumpling.

    1. I thought it was size that defined the slider.

      1. I thought what defined sliders was that they only taste good after 2:00 a.m. and after a "few" drinks.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jnk

          Now *that* sounds like the slider I love to eat... but why "slider"?

        2. I always thought they were small and greasy and were called sliders because they did slide right down because of size and grease factor.

            1. re: Roger Spark

              But the ones they call sliders here aren't necessarily steamed, and still -- what about steamed makes them called sliders? I'm really trying to get to the bottom of this! I do like the slide right down theory -- although some of my more coarse acquaintances have also implied that it's because they... keep sliding, right on through you.,. ahem.

              1. re: ctscorp

                To me, a "slider" must be steamed. The steam rising through the meat and onions, dissolves the fat in the meat. The bun that is placed on top while cooking functions as a grease filter, capturing the oily steam. This produces a mushy, greasy sandwich that quite literally slides down the throat and through the alimentary system. We have some local restaurants that offer "Kobe sliders" as a cutesy juxtaposition of the hoity toity and hoi polloi. The burgers are small and square and served on little buns, but that is where the similarity ends.

            2. I worked at a White Castle one summer. The burgers are "steamed" on a grill that has been slopped with rehydrated onions (lots of water). They easily slid across the grill. Very gross. Never understood why they didn't make drunk people puke!

              1 Reply
              1. re: NewSushiFiend

                Grease baby grease. It's the best counteractant to alcohol.
                Especially the next morning.


              2. I've always been under the impression that they are called "sliders" due to their ability to...ummm...complete the digestive process in short order. That's why in college we used to call them "rectum rockets".

                1 Reply
                1. re: LabRat

                  Oh my god I LOVE it. My new favorite term!

                2. Hmmm.....Wikipedia states a slider is "naval slang for a cheeseburger".

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: jnk

                      Do you actually consider the "Wiki" word to be 100% correct, honest, and trusted as "gospel truth" or "the final word" on ANY subject?

                  1. here's jfood's theory and he grew up around the corner from a WC (why does the website callthem slyders?)

                    Because the burgers AND the bunds are steamed theare are both nice and moist and slide down you throught. No toasted buns, not charred burgers, no grilled onions, all the ingredients are moist and slippery.

                    Hence they all go together to slide down your mouth.

                    That was the view from NJ

                    1. I can get my head around the steamed/squishy aspect of calling them sliders. I can also see it as a nick name because they do slide right down. We all seem to agree that they are much smaller than a regular burger. With some exceptions. It seems that CTS has found one. My guess as to why they're calling them that is, they don't know what a slider is and have mislabled them. It seems to be happening alot nowadays.


                      1. Here in S/W Ohio we have quite a few White Castles. There burgers are the only ones that we referred to as 'sliders'. I believe this was in reference to how long it took them to go through the digestive system.

                        We also called White Castles, 'Whitey Castiles' to make it sound fancier than it really was.

                        1. Small burgers will slide through the slats on a grill and fall into the fire. That is why they are called 'sliders'. That is also why they are steamed rather than grilled.

                          1. There is considerable evidence that “slider” was a term used for a hamburger in the United States Navy, perhaps as early as the 1940s or 1950s. The term “slider” meant a greasy burger that slid in easily. A “slider with a lid” was a cheeseburger.