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90s Slang You Should Know


[fahyuh r-muh n] /ˈfaɪər mən/
noun, plural firemen.
a person employed to extinguish or prevent fires; firefighter.
a person employed to tend fires; stoker.
  1. a person employed to fire and lubricate a steam locomotive.
  2. a person employed to assist the engineer of a diesel or electric locomotive.
U.S. Navy. an enlisted person assigned to the care and operation of a ship's machinery.
British Mining. fire boss.
Baseball. relief pitcher.
Origin of fireman
1620-30 for sense “gunner”; fire + -man
Usage note
See -man. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fireman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No more was then said, the engineer and fireman giving their attention to what was going on at the express car.

    Deadwood Dick Jr. Branded Ed. L. Wheeler
  • Then he said to the fireman, “First we must give our engine some water.”

    Here and Now Story Book Lucy Sprague Mitchell
  • Now the engineer and the fireman were pleased when they heard what the new engine wanted.

    Here and Now Story Book Lucy Sprague Mitchell
  • Dick Rail was the engineer, and his fireman had been taken sick.

    "Run To Seed" Thomas Nelson Page
  • On the contrary, he had provided for this precise contingency by leaving McGrath's fireman in mechanical command on the Rosemary.

    A Fool For Love Francis Lynde
British Dictionary definitions for fireman


noun (pl) -men
a man who fights fires, usually a public employee or trained volunteer Gender-neutral form firefighter
  1. (on steam locomotives) the man who stokes the fire and controls the injectors feeding water to the boiler
  2. (on diesel and electric locomotives) the driver's assistant
a man who tends furnaces; stoker
Also called deputy. a mine official responsible for safety precautions US equivalent fire boss
(US, navy) a junior rating who works on marine engineering equipment
(informal) any employee who is dispatched to deal with trouble at short notice
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fireman

late 14c., "tender of a fire," from fire (n.) + man (n.). As "person hired to put out (rather than tend) fires" it is attested from 1714.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for fireman



A relief pitcher, esp an effective one: a four-run blast against fireman Joe in the eighth inning (1940s+ Baseball)

Related Terms

visiting fireman

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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