From Middle English botswain, botswein, bote-swayn, from late Old English bātsweġen, from bāt (“boat”) + sweġen (“swain”), the latter element a borrowing from Old Norse sveinn (“boy”); equivalent to boat + swain (“boy, servant”).
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈbəʊ.sən/; (spelling pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈbəʊt.sweɪn/
Audio (Southern England) (file)
- (US, Canada) IPA(key): /ˈboʊ.sən/
- Rhymes: (UK) -əʊsən, (US, Canada) -oʊsən
boatswain (plural boatswains)
- The officer (or warrant officer) in charge of sails, rigging, anchors, cables etc. and all work on deck of a sailing ship.
- The petty officer of a merchant ship who controls the work of other seamen.
- A kind of gull, the jaeger.
- The tropicbird.