boatswain

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

boat +‎ swain (boy, servant)

First attested around 1450, from Old English batswegen, from bāt (boat) + Old Norse sveinn (boy).[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

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Wikipedia

boatswain (plural boatswains)

  1. (nautical) The officer (or warrant officer) in charge of sails, rigging, anchors, cables etc. and all work on deck of a sailing ship.
  2. (nautical) The petty officer of a merchant ship who controls the work of other seamen.
  3. A kind of gull, the jaeger.
  4. The tropicbird.

Translations[edit]

Related terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ boatswain” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).