Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 15:33:05 +0900
From: Andrew Moody
Subject: Re: table-bussing

>Is anyone familiar with the use of "bus" as a simple verb or in such
>compounds as "table-bussing"? My inadequate selection of American
>dictionaries has revealed nothing as yet.

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dict., 10th Edition (1993) lists the following
definitions for "bus" vb.

1) to travel by bus
2) to work as a busboy

1) transport by bus
2) a) CLEAR 4D (citation is "to remove from an area or place (clear dishes
from the table>")
b) to remove dirty dishes from

At the moment, I can't remember hearing the term in any context other than

I've also always been under the impression that "bussing" could also
include preparing the table for the next customer, but I don't know that
this is included in the standard use of the term.

Also, there may be words for busboy ("bus-people"???) paraphernalia,
especially the carts used to bus the dishes away from the table. Could this
be the origin of the term?

Andrew Moody
Nagoya University of
Commerce and Business Administration
Nagoya, Japan