matelot

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the French.

Noun[edit]

matelot (plural matelots)

  1. Sailor; also "mate;" boon companion.
    • 1949, Francis van Wyck Mason, Cutlass Empire,
      […] "Among the Brethren of the Coast--we tykes no wimmen save in passing, as it were, they being bothersome, frail and scatterbrained creatures. Instead we tykes a blood-brother, or matelot. . . A matelot, 'e fights along side o' yer, nurses yer if yer falls sick.  Wots 'is is yours and whats yours is 'is. . . Take Klaas yonder, and young Pedro [described earlier as a slender hipped boy with deep femine brown eyes]; they shared the same barbacoa six, seven year and ye'll never come on 'em more than a few yards apart." To this explanation [Harry] Morgan listened in growing amazement and began to comprehend why none of these bestial-appearing boucan makers had so much as addressed Kate.[…]
    • 1984, John Harris, A Funny Place to Hold a War,
      […] a chief petty officer, snarled something under his breath about bloody 'am-fisted matelots […]
    • 1997, Tristan Jones, Heart of Oak, page 103,
      So far as the average matelot was concerned, there was little romanticism about the prefence for frigates, destroyers, frail E-boats that could be blown up with one well-aimed cannon, and submarines, those breeding grounds of TB and madness.
    • 2004, Alan O'Reilly, Sound of Battle, ISBN 1595262881, page 147,
      One day, a stalwart sailor was brought in with a severe fracture below the knee […]
      A week later the leg had turned septic but the matelot was endearing cheerful.
      "Never mind, Sister" he assured Anne. "I'll get a piece of whalebone, like Captain Ahab."
    • 2005 William Atlay, All for a King's Shilling, Melrose Press, ISBN 190522625X, page 72,
      Our matelot took us out to sea in what I believed was not a very seaworthy boat.

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Middle Dutch mattenoot

Noun[edit]

matelot m (plural matelots)

  1. seaman