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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ In this case the bosun responsible was asleep.
▪ That's the call for the leading hands to collect the rations from the rum bosun.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

boson \bo"son\ (b[=o]"s'n), n. See Boatswain. [Obs.] [Also spelled bosun.]


bosun \bosun\ n. a petty officer on a merchant ship who controls the work of other seamen; a contraction of boatswain. [Also spelled bo'sun.]

Syn: boatswain, bos'n, bo's'n, bo'sun, boson.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

a mid-19c. respelling to reflect the modern pronunciation of boatswain.


alt. A warrant or petty officer on board a naval ship. n. A warrant or petty officer on board a naval ship.


n. a petty officer on a merchant ship who controls the work of other seamen [syn: boatswain, bos'n, bo's'n, bo'sun]

Bosun (dinghy)

The Bosun is a 14 foot GRP sailing dinghy originally created for the Royal Navy by designer Ian Proctor and built by Bossoms Boatyard in 1963. The design specification was for a robust dinghy, able to handle open seas, capable of carrying a crew of 3 to 4 people and be fast enough for a competent helm to enjoy sailing, whilst stable enough for a beginner to learn on.

The sailmark is a boatswain's call.

Usage examples of "bosun".

And pray ask the bosun to have cablets and the like ready to his hand, in case it should come on to blow - the glass is sinking.

The only ones who seemed to have any strength left were Captain Foyn, the bosun, and Blade himself.

Meanwhile the bosun and his mates, together with the most experienced forecastle hands and tierers, roused out the best cable the Diane possessed, the most nearly new and unfrayed, a seventeen-inch cable that they turned end for end - no small undertaking in that confined space, since it weighed three and a half tons - and bent it to the best bower anchor by the wholly unworn end that had always been abaft the bitts: the bitter end.

When that is done you will feed them in a seamanlike manner and stow them where the lambs were: you may ask Chips or the bosun for anything you need.

The bosun is just going to report that the mainyard is probably sprung in the slings: the mizen doubtful in the woulding: the beakhead bulkhead is stove.

The bosun cursed and hammered the lip of a panel with his bootheel to free it.

As the doors were closed and Gustav-Adolf was spending the night on a cushion beside the Mother-Empress, the catnip mouse attracted no intruders, but when two bosuns wakened him rudely at an early hour, he was still groggy and red-eyed, and it took him a few painful moments to understand that his dreams had not come terribly true.

Indeed, that particular flash was seen by the bosun of a supertanker off Point Chehalis, thirteen miles away near the gateway to the long harbor.

Chips and the bosun stealing away without a sound: they and their party mean to lay out the work early and start the tar-kettle a-going well in advance, and Joe Gower is taking his fishgig in the hope of some of those well-tasting stingrays that lie in the shallows by night.

Three wheelchairs, their people mighty frail, two Wacs, both tough little princesses, one fused spine, three mental blanks who drooled, two bedridden, one goldbrick, two mobile but getting over operations, a bosun mate with one arm and an appliance instead of a hand, and a blind quartermaster .

Now there was a real sailor, an asshole to work foranda perfectionist hairsplitter, but the bosun had spent twenty-seven years working for driven men who demanded perfection and were satisfied with nothing less.

The aged bosun already had his call to his lips as the Marine hurried past him to strike the bell - a sound almost invariably followed by the enormous hullaballoo of cooks bawling out mess numbers, men running and roaring with mess-kids, sailors beating on their plates and banging tables, but on this occasion strangely muted.

Gruff-voiced chiefs and bosuns shouted orders as she and several other awkward landlubbers rushed to help haul lanyards and lash straining sheets.

Pullings glanced at his perfect decks, the white-gloved sideboys and the new-covered manropes ready to bring the visitor aboard, the powdered and pipe-clayed Marines prepared to stamp and clash by way of martial compliment, the bosun and his mates waiting with their shining silver calls, and then hurried below himself, to shove a groat, emerging only when the caique was within hailing distance.

Keller had misplaced his plainspoken first officer and his fanciful bosun, each newly appointed, each desperately needed.