boater vs waterman what difference

what is difference between boater and waterman



From Middle English botere; equivalent to boat +‎ -er. The use of the term for a straw hat stems from the fact that straw hats were the preferred head covering during sunny boat trips on canals and rivers.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈbəʊt.ə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈboʊ.tɚ/
  • (General New Zealand) IPA(key): /ˈbɐʉt.ɘ/
  • Rhymes: -əʊtə(r)


boater (plural boaters)

  1. (nautical) Someone who travels by boat.
  2. (nautical) One who works on a boat, especially as captain.
    Synonyms: boatman, boatsman
  3. A straw hat, very stiff, with a flat brim and crown.
    Synonyms: leghorn, basher, skimmer, Panama


Further reading

  • boater on Wikipedia.Wikipedia


  • borate, orbate, rebato



From Middle English waterman, equivalent to water +‎ -man.


waterman (plural watermen)

  1. (obsolete) A seaman, a sailor.
  2. A man who lives or works on the water; a boatman.
  3. Someone who distributes or supplies water for a living; a water-carrier.
    • 1974, Lawrence Durrell, Monsieur, Faber & Faber 1992, p. 105:
      An elderly sheik shared this little ceremony with us, and afterwards benignly gave the waterman a coin and made him spurt scented water on his face and beard.
  4. (dated) Specifically, an attendant on cab stands who supplies water to the horses.
  5. (surfing) A man skilled in multiple aquatic sports disciplines, such as surfing, bodysurfing, undersea diving, canoe paddling, fishing, etc.

Usage notes

  • Describing someone as a waterman is the highest honour in the surfing community, reserved for those with long-standing and indisputably significant all-round achievements.

Related terms

  • waterwoman


  • Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967



From water (water) +‎ man (man).



waterman m (plural watermannen, diminutive watermannetje n)

  1. water boy, water carrier

Usage notes

Not to be confused with Waterman (“Aquarius, the eleventh astrological sign in the Zodiac”).

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