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top +‎ -man


topman (plural topmen)

  1. (nautical) The man stationed in the top on a sailing vessel, responsible for the setting of the sails
    • 1924, Herman Melville, Billy Budd, London: Constable & Co., Chapter 8, [1]
      There, when not actually engaged on the yards yet higher aloft, the topmen, who as such had been picked out for youth and activity, constituted an aerial club lounging at ease against the smaller stun'sails rolled up into cushions, spinning yarns like the lazy gods, and frequently amused with what was going on in the busy world of the decks below.
  2. The uppermost sawyer in a sawpit; a topsman.