My first memory of late arrivals, was the regular occurrence of my mother not collecting me from school with everyone else’s parents. The street would gradually empty, until only I and my sister were left. Tummies rumbling we would kick the leaves and wait patiently.
Sometimes she didn’t arrive at all. Someone else would come, and we would climb into a strange car and trundle away.
But I don’t remember minding. Not at all.
It doesn’t seem to work the other way, though, does it? I have a lifetime achievement of late arrivals. My mother’s skill was passed on to me, and I can tell you a thing or two about the reaction of people to unpunctuality!
Roget’s Thesaurus has only 5 words for it, in 132.1. – Lateness, tardiness, belatedness, unpunctuality, and untimeliness.
Sociolinguistics suggesting the British do not need more – they are not late :)