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boatswain

Line breaks: boat|swain
Pronunciation: /ˈbəʊs(ə)n
 
/
(also bo'sun or bosun)

Definition of boatswain in English:

noun

A ship’s officer in charge of equipment and the crew.
Example sentences
  • He served in the merchant marines as a boatswain and a machinist's mate when ships were going to places of interest.
  • A boatswain's mate on a ship's forecastle might not be paying attention to the color of the anchor chain paying out of the locker, or turn the friction brake in the wrong direction, with disastrous results.
  • Typically, it's a boatswain's mate or a quartermaster running the ship, while an engineer and one or two seaman line handlers assist in the shipboard operations.

Origin

late Old English bātswegen (see boat, swain).

More
  • cox from (mid 19th century):

    The cox or coxswain (Middle English) is the person who steers a racing boat or similar craft. The cox part is from the old word cock (Late Middle English) ‘small boat’, which is not related to the bird but to Latin caudex or codex ‘block of wood’. The second half of the word, swain (Old English), now means ‘a country youth or peasant’ but was originally ‘a young man attending a knight’ and ‘a male servant or attendant’. It is also the second half of boatswain (Late Middle English) (often abbreviated to bo'sun), a ship's officer in charge of equipment and the crew.

Words that rhyme with boatswain

bosun

Definition of boatswain in:

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