Our earliest evidence of "waitron" in print is from 1980. The word is probably a blend of "waiter/waitress" and "-tron," a suffix that seems to allude to the machinelike impersonality of waiting tables. It may also have been influenced by "neutron," which is assumed to come from the word neutral and so implies the gender-neutrality of "waitron." The words "patron" and "moron" have also been suggested as possible influences on the development of this word. "Waitron" is a popular yet vaguely disparaging and somewhat informal term. A more common (albeit less colorful) gender-neutral substitute for "waiter" or "waitress" is "server."