boatswain

[boh-suhn; spelling pronunciation boht-sweyn]
noun
a warrant officer on a warship, or a petty officer on a merchant vessel, in charge of rigging, anchors, cables, etc.
Also, bo's'n, bosun.


Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English bote-swayn. See boat, swain

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World English Dictionary
boatswain, bosun or bo's'n (ˈbəʊsən)
 
n
a petty officer on a merchant ship or a warrant officer on a warship who is responsible for the maintenance of the ship and its equipment
 
[Old English bātswegen; see boat, swain]
 
bosun, bosun or bo's'n
 
n
 
[Old English bātswegen; see boat, swain]
 
bo's'n, bosun or bo's'n
 
n
 
[Old English bātswegen; see boat, swain]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

boatswain
mid-15c., from late O.E. batswegen, from bat "boat" + O.N. sveinn "boy" (see swain). Phonetic spelling bo'sun is attested from 1868.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The boatswain and a mate trained a fire hose on the plate, and the mud came
  down in curtains.
The seamanship at fault: but this expression may be glossed by supposing the
  boatswain to have sounded that call on his whistle.
The captain and the mate have been lost in the gale and the boatswain therefore
  heads the crew.
The boatswain's chair is used only for transporting employees.
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