Bussing tables refers to a well-known expression, as well as one of the most common starting places in the catering industry.
It is the job of busboys: waiting, clearing, and setting tables within a restaurant.
“Bussing tables” derived from the word busboy, which itself is a derivative of omnibus, containing the Latin root omni-, meaning all, of all things, referring to the various responsibilities of a busboy.
While busboy itself first appeared in print in the United States at the turn of the 20th century, “Bussing tables” wasn’t documented until the 1940’s.
Both phrases, however, are exclusive to the American lingo, as the same post is named commis waiter or waiter’s assistant in British English.
Although the expression busboy became almost entirely extinct in the final decades of the 20th century, the phrase “Bussing tables” lives on among those working in the catering industry, currently being on the height of its popularity.
The expression itself was first defined on Urban Dictionary on January 4th, 2008.
- Frugalreality.com – Bussing Tables at a Restaurant – Pay, Tips, Skills
- Juliatomiak.com – Why is it called “bussing tables”?