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See also: Waterman


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From Middle English waterman, equivalent to water +‎ man.


waterman (plural watermen)

  1. (obsolete) A seaman, a sailor.
  2. A man who lives or works on the water; a boatman.
  3. Someone who distributes or supplies water for a living; a water-carrier.
    • 1974, Lawrence Durrell, Monsieur, Faber & Faber 1992, p. 105:
      An elderly sheik shared this little ceremony with us, and afterwards benignly gave the waterman a coin and made him spurt scented water on his face and beard.
  4. (dated) Specifically, an attendant on cab stands who supplies water to the horses.
    • 1836, Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers 2:
      ‘Here you are, sir,’ shouted a strange specimen of the human race, in a sackcloth coat, and apron of the same, who, with a brass label and number round his neck, looked as if he were catalogued in some collection of rarities. This was the waterman.
  5. (surfing) A man skilled in multiple aquatic sports disciplines, such as surfing, bodysurfing, undersea diving, canoe paddling, fishing, etc.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Describing someone as a waterman is the highest honour in the surfing community, reserved for those with long-standing and indisputably significant all-round achievements.

Related terms[edit]


  • Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967



From water (water) +‎ man (man).


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waterman m (plural watermannen, diminutive watermannetje n)

  1. water boy, water carrier

Usage notes[edit]

Not to be confused with Waterman ("Aquarius, the eleventh astrological sign in the Zodiac").