Boatswain


Boatswain
Recorded in spellings which include Boat, Boate, Boater, Bote, Booter, Boother, Boatman, Boatwright, Boatswain, and Bowater, this is an early English medieval surname. Its origins of which there are definately two, are confused and in some cases, overlapping. Firstly it is possible that the surname is either topographical for someone who lived at a "both", the Olde English barn or cow shed later called a booth, and found in the popular surname Booth, or may describe a builder of boths, or even a person who lived on a bank or both. In this latter case it is a "fused" form of the pre 7th century "bufan-waeter", meaning "above the water". Secondly and more likely it is again occupational, but this time for a builder of boats as in Boater or Boatwright, or as an operator of boats such as in Boat, Bote, Boatman and Boatswain. The agent suffix "-er" when used means "one who does (or makes)". Both topographical and occupational surnames were among the earliest created, as the activities of man and the natural features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names. However occupational surnames did not usually become hereditary until a son of sometimes a grandson, followed the father into the same job. Early examples of recordings include Richard le Boteswayn of Nottinghamshire, in the Hundred Rolls of 1273, Jeffrey Boteman, the rector of Wood Norton, in the county of Norfolk in the year 1320, and John Botewright, master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1471. Other early recordings include the marriage of Thomas Bowater and Jane Ley at Tamworth, Staffordshire, on June 15th 1589; the christening of Dorothy Boat at St Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, on March 11th 1670, and the christening of Mary Boater at St. Martins in the Field, Westminster, on April 18th 1784. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Boatswain — Boat swain, n. [Boat + swain.] 1. (Naut.) An officer who has charge of the boats, sails, rigging, colors, anchors, cables, cordage, etc., of a ship, and who also summons the crew, and performs other duties. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo[ o]l.) (a) The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • boatswain — mid 15c., from late O.E. batswegen, from bat boat (see BOAT (Cf. boat) (n.)) + O.N. sveinn boy (see SWAIN (Cf. swain)). Phonetic spelling bo sun is attested from 1840 …   Etymology dictionary

  • boatswain — is now generally pronounced boh sǝn regardless of whether it is spelt this way or as bosun …   Modern English usage

  • boatswain — (also bo sun or bosun) ► NOUN ▪ a ship s officer in charge of equipment and the crew. ORIGIN from BOAT(Cf. ↑boatload) + SWAIN(Cf. ↑swain) …   English terms dictionary

  • boatswain — [bō′sən] n. [ME boteswayne < OE batswegen < bat,BOAT + * swegen, servant < or akin to ON sveinn: see SWAIN] a ship s warrant officer or petty officer in charge of the deck crew, the rigging, anchors, boats, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Boatswain — ] The Boatswain in William Shakespere s The Tempest is a central character is several scenes.Victoria Cross recipients John Sheppard (VC), John Sullivan (VC), Henry Curtis, and John Harrison (VC 1857) were Royal Navy Boatswain s Mates.Lord Byron… …   Wikipedia

  • boatswain — Pronounced bosun. Originally the person responsible for discipline on a ship. Now the position of one who works with line or rope, still a very common position in the navies of most countries. Sailors were considered to be the originators of many …   Dictionary of american slang

  • boatswain — Pronounced bosun. Originally the person responsible for discipline on a ship. Now the position of one who works with line or rope, still a very common position in the navies of most countries. Sailors were considered to be the originators of many …   Dictionary of american slang

  • boatswain — Skua Sku a, n. [Icel. sk?fr, sk?mr.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any jager gull; especially, the {Megalestris skua}; called also {boatswain}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • boatswain — Jager Ja ger, n. [G. j[ a]ger a hunter, a sportsman. Cf. {Yager}.] [Written also {jaeger}.] 1. (Mil.) A sharpshooter. See {Yager}. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo[ o]l.) Any species of gull of the genus {Stercorarius}. Three species occur on the Atlantic… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English