fireman

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

English[edit]

Wikipedia-logo.png
 fireman on Wikipedia
A male firefighter
A railway locomotive fireman

Etymology[edit]

fire +‎ -man

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

fireman (plural firemen)

  1. (firefighting) Someone (implied male) who is skilled in the work of fighting fire.
  2. (rail transport) A person (originally 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'.
    • 1938, Xavier Herbert, Capricornia, Chapter IX, p. 140, [1]
      No grass grew under a train when the engineer let Fireman McLash take the throttle.
    • 2013 August 24, Sophie Wyllie, quoting Tina Pinney, “Volunteer Tina steams ahead and becomes qualified fireman on North Norfolk Railway”, in Eastern Daily Press[2], ISSN 1468-4039:
      I was elated to pass because there were times when I did not think I was physically capable. It is quite rare for a woman to become a fireman.
  3. (rail transport) By extension of the above, an assistant on any locomotive, whether steam-powered or not.
  4. (baseball) A relief pitcher.
  5. (mining, historical) A safety inspector in coal mines.

Usage notes[edit]

  • (firefighting): Historically meant only a man, but now used to refer to female firefighters as well. In modern usage, the gender-inclusive term firefighter is generally preferred.
  • (rail transport): This term is commonly used for both males and females, firewoman is rarer in this sense.

Antonyms[edit]

Hypernyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Anagrams[edit]