Boat-swain

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
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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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