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powder monkey

(formerly) a boy employed on warships to carry gunpowder from the magazine to the guns.
powderman (def 1).
Origin of powder monkey
1675-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for powder-monkey
Historical Examples
  • So I put him down again, and there was his little lordship as busy as any powder-monkey, handing up the powder to the gunners.

    A Voyage round the World W.H.G. Kingston
  • Then you must be a powder-monkey with me; you can hand powder up, if you can do nothing else.

    The King's Own Captain Frederick Marryat
  • No one ever got a more royal welcome than did Bob, the powder-monkey, on his return to the Lively Bee.

  • Only two days since I met him swaggering on the beach, and he threatened to impress me on the Tartar for a powder-monkey.

  • I would have been rather an English powder-monkey or a swab in that great victory than an emperor out of it.

    The Admiral Douglas Sladen
  • He looked certainly old enough to have fought at Trafalgar—or at any rate to have played his little part there as a powder-monkey.

    Some Reminiscences Joseph Conrad
  • If all the rest of the men were killed wouldn't the powder-monkey get a chance to fire the gun?

  • But his station in action was on the forecastle, where he was powder-monkey for the two forward guns.

  • This being thus, we therefore clearly see The powder-monkey heads some pedigree.

    A Phenomenal Fauna Carolyn Wells
  • A small crew was placed in charge, commanded by Tempest, and included the powder-monkey, our old friend Bob.

British Dictionary definitions for powder-monkey

powder monkey

(formerly) a boy who carried powder from the magazine to the guns on warships
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for powder-monkey

powder monkey

noun phrase

A person who works with explosives in mining, construction, etc

[1926+ Loggers & miners; found by 1682 designating a boy who handles gunpowder aboard a warship]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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