Origin of boilermaker

First recorded in 1860–65; boiler + maker Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for boilermaker

Contemporary Examples of boilermaker

Historical Examples of boilermaker

British Dictionary definitions for boilermaker


  1. a person who works with metal in heavy industry; plater or welder
  2. British slang a beer drink consisting of half of draught mild and half of bottled brown ale
  3. US slang a drink of whisky followed by a beer chaser
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

Word Origin and History for boilermaker

"a maker of boilers for engines," 1814, from boiler (n.) + maker. Meaning "shot of whiskey with a glass of beer" is short for boilermaker's delight (1910), strong cheap whiskey, so called in jest from the notion that it would clean the scales from the interior of a boiler.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper