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See also: Batman


Edward Ardizzone, Pulling off the Padre’s Boots (1940), collection of the Imperial War Museum, UK. It is a caricature of a military chaplain lying exhausted on a chair while his batman removes his footwear for him.

Etymology 1

From bat (packsaddle) +‎ man. The element bat is from French bât, from Old French bast,[1] from Late Latin bastum, possibly from Ancient Greek βαστάζειν (bastázein, to bear, carry, lift).



batman (plural batmen)

  1. (military) A servant or valet to an army officer.
  2. (by extension, informal) A personal assistant or supporter.
    • 2008, Darren Smith, Fade, →ISBN, page 278:
      He became my retainer, my batman, the solution to my ever-growing need for an extra pair of hands.
    • 2012, Jeffery Hayton, Just One More Time, →ISBN, page 78:
      Thank you to a special Carer, Thank you for being my nurse, My housemaid, and my cook, My batman and my chauffeur, And my eyes when I forget to look!
    • 2014, Andrew S Cowan, Estate Life, →ISBN, page 186:
      The Quease, as you will have read, thought this a huge cheek and, as is ever the case with her, was not slow to point it out. She further accused me of treating him as my batman.


batman (third-person singular simple present batmans, present participle batmanned, simple past and past participle batmanning)

  1. To act as a batman.
    • 1985, Chris Vokes, ‎John Philip Maclean, Vokes, my story, page 98:
      Batmanning was voluntary. McPherson was a bit incensed about the loss of his batman, but he made do with somebody else.
    • 2000, Baylor Wetzel, Winter Project, →ISBN, page 96:
      OK, I batmanned. Give me an Xterm.
    • 2014, Andris Bear, Lust:
      Yes, well, had I known you were having a row with the loo, I would have batmanned the other direction.
    • 2017, Clare Makepeace, Captives of War, →ISBN:
      The preservation of the batmanning system in captivity was established through an Anglo-German agreement of 1918, which had allowed one orderly to be allocated to a group of seven imprisoned captains, one to a group of four field officers and one to each general.
See also

Etymology 2

English Wikipedia has an article on:

From Ottoman Turkish بطمان(batman). Cognate with Chagatai [script needed] (bātmān).



batman (plural batmans)

  1. (Turkish units of measure) A unit of weight established in 1931 equal to 10 kg.
  2. (historical units of measure) A Turkish unit of weight varying by location, time, and item from 2–8 okas (about 2.5–10 kg).



  1. ^ batman” in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.

Further reading

  • "batman" in the Ottoman Turkish Dictionary
  • "batman, n.1", in the Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Etymology 3

In reference to the superhero Batman.


batman (third-person singular simple present batmans, present participle batmanning, simple past and past participle batmanned)

  1. (slang, mountaineering) To climb up or down a rope free hand (i.e. as Batman does).
    • 1993, Steve Roper, ‎Allen Steck, The Best of Ascent: Twenty-Five Years of the Mountaineering Experience:
      At 16,200 feet I batmanned madly down the fixed ropes, stopping constantly to catch my breath, not sure how much longer I could continue.
    • 2005, Alan Hobson & Jamie Clarke, Above All Else: The Everest Dream, →ISBN, page 53:
      Instead, they batmanned effortlessly hand-over-hand up the rope like kids pulling in perch.
    • 2006, Alpinist - Issue 18; Issue 20[1], page 36:
      The Germans had left fixed ropes in place, which the Brits unashamedly batmanned up to reach the summit ridge.
    • 2011, Kerry Burns, ‎Cameron Burns, Climb: Tales of Man Versus Boulder, Crag, Wall, and Peak, →ISBN, page 96:
      So without hesitation I “batmanned” the rope, freed it, and we continued.
    • 2018, Nate Fitch, ‎Ron Funderburke, Climbing: From First-Timer to Gym Climber, →ISBN:
      When climbers fall they will usually want to return to their high point to resume climbing, and that will either involve batmanning or boinking.




Its shape being likened to Batman's chest logo.



  1. a spiny orb-weaver; a common name of the spiders in the genus Gasteracantha



From Middle Turkic *batmān, from Old Turkic batman, from Proto-Turkic.



batman (definite accusative batmanı)

  1. (historical) a unit of weight formerly used in the Ottoman period
    • 1992, Pertev Nailı̂ Boratav, Zaman zaman içinde[2], page 38:
      Bin batmandan olsa kazan
      Ustager değil mi düzen
      Hayranlık esince cana
      Bengilik de gereğ olur.
      Even if the kettle weighs thousands of batmans
      Isn't the order skillful
      If the admiration blows to the soul
      The eternity also is indispensable.