boatswain
or bosun; also bos'n or bo's'n or bo'sun noun Etymology: Middle English bootswein, from boot boat + swein boy, servant — more at swain Date: 14th century 1. a petty officer on a merchant ship having charge of hull maintenance and related work 2. a naval warrant officer in charge of the hull and all related equipment

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Boatswain — Boat swain, n. [Boat + swain.] 1. (Naut.) An officer who has charge of the boats, sails, rigging, colors, anchors, cables, cordage, etc., of a ship, and who also summons the crew, and performs other duties. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo[ o]l.) (a) The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • boatswain — mid 15c., from late O.E. batswegen, from bat boat (see BOAT (Cf. boat) (n.)) + O.N. sveinn boy (see SWAIN (Cf. swain)). Phonetic spelling bo sun is attested from 1840 …   Etymology dictionary

  • boatswain — is now generally pronounced boh sǝn regardless of whether it is spelt this way or as bosun …   Modern English usage

  • boatswain — (also bo sun or bosun) ► NOUN ▪ a ship s officer in charge of equipment and the crew. ORIGIN from BOAT(Cf. ↑boatload) + SWAIN(Cf. ↑swain) …   English terms dictionary

  • boatswain — [bō′sən] n. [ME boteswayne < OE batswegen < bat,BOAT + * swegen, servant < or akin to ON sveinn: see SWAIN] a ship s warrant officer or petty officer in charge of the deck crew, the rigging, anchors, boats, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Boatswain — ] The Boatswain in William Shakespere s The Tempest is a central character is several scenes.Victoria Cross recipients John Sheppard (VC), John Sullivan (VC), Henry Curtis, and John Harrison (VC 1857) were Royal Navy Boatswain s Mates.Lord Byron… …   Wikipedia

  • boatswain — Pronounced bosun. Originally the person responsible for discipline on a ship. Now the position of one who works with line or rope, still a very common position in the navies of most countries. Sailors were considered to be the originators of many …   Dictionary of american slang

  • boatswain — Pronounced bosun. Originally the person responsible for discipline on a ship. Now the position of one who works with line or rope, still a very common position in the navies of most countries. Sailors were considered to be the originators of many …   Dictionary of american slang

  • Boatswain — Recorded in spellings which include Boat, Boate, Boater, Bote, Booter, Boother, Boatman, Boatwright, Boatswain, and Bowater, this is an early English medieval surname. Its origins of which there are definately two, are confused and in some cases …   Surnames reference

  • boatswain — Skua Sku a, n. [Icel. sk?fr, sk?mr.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any jager gull; especially, the {Megalestris skua}; called also {boatswain}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • boatswain — Jager Ja ger, n. [G. j[ a]ger a hunter, a sportsman. Cf. {Yager}.] [Written also {jaeger}.] 1. (Mil.) A sharpshooter. See {Yager}. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo[ o]l.) Any species of gull of the genus {Stercorarius}. Three species occur on the Atlantic… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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