One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A sawyer working the upper handle of a pit saw; a top-sawyer.
head, head man, head woman, top man, top woman, chief, principal, director, president, executive, chief executive, chair, chairperson, chairman, chairwoman, manager, manageress, administrator, leader, superintendent, supervisor, foreman, forewoman, overseer, controller, employer, master, owner, proprietor, patronView synonyms
- ‘Matthews relayed the orders to the topmen and those manning the braces.’
2A sailor on duty in a sailing ship's tops.
- ‘Rising to the quarter-deck, he glanced aft noting the decks of Dolphin crawling with men and topmen prepared for battle.’
- ‘The topmen were already working to rig the last of the sail and running rigging.’
- ‘The topmen, who worked on the highest yards, spent much of their day aloft, in the tops, which on a battleship would be spacious areas out of sight of the officers, and far above the inferior members of the crew.’
- ‘The topmen were reefing in the sail to match the speed of the flagship of their little band.’
- ‘Hornblower came topside and noticed Pamela standing aft watching the topmen descend.’
- ‘He watched as every now and then one of the topmen stole a glance at Dolphin and the approach.’
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