Fri Jan 26 16:16:39 UTC 2001

Date:          Thu, 25 Jan 2001 21:57:18 -0500
From:          Jane Parker <jpparker at ISERV.NET>
Subject:       Re: Waitron

When I lived in Minneapolis MN in the mid-'80 the term waitron was commonly used
instead of waiter/waitress in the want ads and by the waitrons themselves.
People laughed at me (even some linguistic professors) when I went to gradschool
in IN.  I have not seen or heard it used since.  Is anyone else familiar with
this term?    I think is was sort of a gender neutral combo of waitress and

Jane P Parker

I recall reading an anecdote in some local (NYC) source, probably in
the mid 1980s.

[Recreated:]  The writer goes into a restaurant, takes a table that
hasn't been red up since the last customer.  A female appears,
announces "I'm Melissa, and I'll be your waitron tonight."
"Waitron?"  "Yes.  Waitress and waiter are sexist terms.  The busboy
will clean your table right away."

The point to the anecdote, to the extent that it had one, is that her
consciousness was not raised sufficiently to keep her from using the
sex-bound term "busboy".  I believe that I now see the word
"wait-person" on cards in restaurant windows notifying the world of a
job-opening.  The gophers, in introducing themselves, tend to say
"I'll be your server."

"red up" appears in homage to my connections in Elizabeth, Pa.


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