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

MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY RDECOM AMRDEC (US) william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL
Wed Jul 12 10:40:41 EDT 2017


So is this where the verb "bus" (as in "go bus those tables, busboy") comes from?  OED isn't much help (but has this sense from 1930)

> 
> 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
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - Caution-http://www.americandialect.org

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