Definition of busboy in English:



North American
  • A young man who clears tables in a restaurant or cafe.

    • ‘Hosts and hostesses wear half aprons; busboys wear a plain black apron with the restaurant logo on front.’
    • ‘There were two waiters and a busboy sitting in random spots around the small dining room.’
    • ‘They took jobs with low pay and little advancement potential, working as busboys, waiters, gardeners, janitors, and domestic help in cities.’
    • ‘Zombori worked as a busboy and saw how the world's top waiters treated customers.’
    • ‘I observed that, as a raconteur, he held court in the Trinity faculty dining room, befriending administrators, liberal artists, science professors, waiters, and busboys equally.’
    • ‘It is sometimes said that a permeable southern border poses no security threat to the U.S., since those who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are merely aspiring busboys, waiters, and gardeners.’
    • ‘They work as busboys, mechanics, waiters, construction workers and migrant farmers, Hess said.’
    • ‘At the nearby Desert Diner, dishes clatter as busboys set tables for the lunch crowd and crank the fireplace to a high blaze.’
    • ‘It was the same story with the waiter who took our order and the busboy who cleared the dishes.’
    • ‘Beug leaned out of the busboy's way as the lithe young man wiped the table down.’
    • ‘Anyway, there were flowers and gilded fixtures and lush fabrics and polished waiters, hosts and busboys regarding us with measured warmth.’
    • ‘Watch how they treat the ‘little people’ towards whom they have no obligations - waiters, busboys, doormen, secretaries.’
    • ‘As a busboy I tried to keep their tables free of used plates but soon there were leaning towers of plates on every table that I couldn't keep up with.’
    • ‘The soundtrack for dinner was created by two busboys clearing 80 settings in the banquet room.’
    • ‘Adam went home to his mother's house in Cambridge and got a job as a busboy at the Border Café.’
    • ‘In fact, all the waiters and busboys were jubilant.’
    • ‘A few months later, he became a busboy at another restaurant, worked his way up to waiter and found a small apartment to share with only five other men.’
    • ‘The brothers ultimately met up in New York, and worked as dishwashers, busboys, waiters, and bartenders until they left for San Francisco in the early '90s.’
    • ‘They were named for their absent Mexican father, Juan Roberto, a restaurant busboy aspiring to be an architect, who ran away from babies he wasn't old enough to handle.’
    • ‘In Europe, you simply can't see these differences: waiters, busboys, and cooks all have job security.’


Late 19th century: from bus + boy.