[Ads-l] Antedating busboy (bus boy) and "omnibus boy"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 12 00:29:21 EDT 2017


So, _bus_ is from "omnibus" and _bus boy_ is from "omnibus boy," because
both are "for everybody."

Interesting.

On Tue, Jul 11, 2017 at 2:37 PM, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Barry Popik previously shared "busboy" 1911 on ADS-L<http://listserv.
> linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2003-July/032625.html>.
>
>
> I just ran across "bus boy" in a want-ad in the St. Louis Republic, May
> 28, 1901, page 10 (chronicling America).
>
>
> "Boy Wanted. Experienced bus boy at the Breitling Restaurant."
>
>
> As others have mentioned here<http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/
> ads-l/2003-July/032630.html>, "bus boy" is from "omnibus" (1888), an
> industry term for waiters' assistant.
>
>
> I found a job description written by a manager of Delmonico's Restaurant
> in New York City in 1896.
>
>
> “Having become proficient in storeroom work, the embryo waiter is allowed
> to come into the café or the restaurant as a general utility man or
> ‘omnibus,’ as he is called by the profession.  His duties consist in
> cleaning off the tables, carrying off the dishes, running for a bottle of
> wine, getting ice; in short, be at the beck and call of the waiters, whom
> he must assist in whatever way he may be of service to them.”
>
>
> The Sun (New York), December 06, 1896, Part III, Page 5.
>
>
> "Omnibus boy" is recorded at least as early as 1896.  From a report on a
> trial for murder of a woman accused of poisoning her mother:
>
>
> "James Redmond, the omnibus boy of the hotel, testified that he took an
> order from the defendant on August 30, 1895, for a bowl of clam chowder and
> a piece of lemon pie."
>
>
> The Daily Morning Journal and Courier, June 09, 1896, page 1.
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
-Wilson
-----
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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