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Water boatman vs Water-man

water boatmana water-bug (Notonecta glauca), whose body resembles a boat:

  • The water boatman, an insect related to the Cimicidae, made me suffer still more severely.


1. a man who rows or lends out small boats for pay:

  • A coachman, postboy, or waterman, generally expects some grace from the passengers, over and above his fare.

2. a man employed in the distribution of water:

  • Duran is the water man. Maneuvering his 15-ton tanker down narrow ravines, he delivers water to people the city cannot afford to supply.

3. (hist.) an attendant at coach-stands, whose primary function was to water the horses:

  • The waterman darts from the pump, seizes the horses by their respective bridles, and drags them, and the coach too, round to the house.

4. (coll.) a water-color artist:

  • The collection of water colors includes among its contributors many of the best living “water-men.”


a) The compound does not correlate in meaning with the noun seaman—a mariner; a sailor:

  • Seamen in the merchant vessels are required to enter into a contract in writing commonly called shipping articles.

b) The compound is not antonymous in meaning to the noun landman(also: landsman)

1. a person who lives and works on land (as opposed to seaman):

  • Up to a third of the crew in wartime were landmen, who had volunteered to serve.

2. (Petroleum Industry) land consultant responsible for obtaining permission to drill an oil well, build a pipeline, etc.:

  • I was a landman in Texas and Illinois (in the good old days) before the bottom fell out of the oil business.