fireman

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English[edit]

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 Fireman on Wikipedia

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Etymology[edit]

fire +‎ -man

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Noun[edit]

fireman (plural firemen)

  1. (firefighting) Someone (implied male) who is skilled in the work of fighting fire.
  2. (rail transport) A man who keeps the fire going underneath a steam boiler (originally, shoveling coal by hand), particularly on a railroad locomotive.
    • ca. 1913 The wreck of Old 97 [ballad, Blue Ridge Mountains], verse 3:
      He looked around his cab at his black greasy fireman, saying 'shovel on a little more coal, and when we cross that White Oak Mountain, you can watch Old 97 roll'.
  3. (rail transport) By extension of the above, an assistant on any locomotive, whether steam-powered or not.
  4. (baseball) A relief pitcher.

Usage notes[edit]

Historically meant only a man, now used to refer to female firefighters as well. In modern usage, the gender-inclusive term firefighter is generally preferred.

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