Word of the Day : September 23, 2013


noun WAY-trahn


: a person who waits tables (as in a restaurant) : waitperson


The best waitrons are constantly aware of the needs of the diners at their tables without hovering over them.

"No sooner were we settled than a teenaged waitron appeared with her pad and asked if we were ready to order. I pointed out that this could not be possible since we had yet to be given our menus. " - From a restaurant review by David Burton in the Dominion Post (Wellington, New Zealand), July 20, 2013

Did You Know?

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."

Test Your Memory

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