it can mean 'expect' in the same way that the English verb 'await' includes an expectation of tier arrival. If you have read the classic English novels then you have probably run across something like--Good. I shall expect you around four, then.... . This is the expect that is included, to await something anticipated.
"Il cameriere" = "the waiter" (m. sing.)
"I camerieri" = "the waiters" (m. pl.)
"La cameriera" = "the waitress" (f. sing.)
"Le cameriere" = "the waitresses" (f. pl.)
So yes, we have an ambiguity, since "cameriere" can be both masculine singular and feminine plural and you can only tell them apart from the context (e.g. the accompanying article, if any).
I disagree. I'm waiting on Dave before I can leave seems like perfect English. It implies to me that Dave is within your presence but being slow. While waiting for Dave implies more that you are waiting for him to arrive at the location and he is not currently there yet. Although they could both still be used.
Lengthy discussion from merriam-webster.com, which could be used to support either point of view:
— wait on also wait upon 1a : to attend as a servant ...... b : to supply the wants of : serve ....... 2 : to make a formal call on ......... 3: to wait for ..................... American dialectologists have evidence showing wait on (sense 3) to be more a Southern than a Northern form in speech. Handbook writers universally denigrate wait on and prescribe wait for in writing. Our evidence from printed sources does not show a regional preference; it does show that the handbooks' advice is not based on current usage settlement of the big problems still waited on Russia — Time I couldn't make out … whether Harper was waiting on me for approval — E. B. White .... the staggering bill that waited on them at the white commissary downtown — Maya Angelou. ..... One reason for the continuing use of wait on may lie in its being able to suggest protracted or irritating waits better than wait for for two days I've been waiting on weather — Charles A. Lindbergh ....... the boredom of black Africans sitting there, waiting on the whims of a colonial bureaucracy — Vincent Canby ........ doesn't care to sit around waiting on a House that's virtually paralyzed — Glenn A. Briere. .....Wait on is less common than wait for, but if it seems natural, there is no reason to avoid it.
You're British and have never waited on a bus? Sounds more of a class difference than an Americanism to me :P
In the States, both expressions are used, albeit "waiting for" is more commonly heard in the Northern states and "waiting on" is more prevalent in the South. Class differences aside, I believe there is regional variance in the UK too.
Never, ever deal in absolutes. Now, excuse me, for I appear to have poked a hole in my cheek.
I'm a California native over age 60. The first time that I remember hearing the phrase "waiting on" in this sense was in 1970, and it sounded strange to me. It still does, even though I hear it more now. The Rolling Stones immortalized the phrase in their 1981 hit "Waiting on a Friend," which I think had nothing to do with restaurants. "Waiting for" is more standard, and I think it is the better translation.
A lot of 'American English' comes from the English spoken when certain waves of Settlers left England for America. The spoken English moved on in Britain but was retained (or developed differently) in America. However, you can also see this effect in regional locations across Britain and sometimes they will intersect.
Wow..I wait for the waiter.It means that I AM the waiter and the one (I mean the serving waiter) I'm waiting for is the waiter,who makes other waiters (I mean the waiting customers XD) + other serving waiters wait.
So..the main topic is that,we are the real waiters who wait for the servants whom we call waiters,am I right?