from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A large cylindrical or conical floating buoy, used as a mark for shoals, etc. See buoy.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It was only a can-buoy, lifting lonely to the swell.

    The Happy Venture

  • When he come to his office quarters he was 'bout up to my arms, red as a can-buoy, and white hair stickin 'up straight as a shoe-brush on his head.

    The Under Dog


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  • "All was well here and moving very fast, and as he ran on deck, calling aloud for the jolly-boat and a can-buoy, some part of his mind had time to thank God for good officers..."

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World, 187

    A Sea of Words lists the meaning as:

    "A navigational marker with a flat top, as opposed to a nun-buoy, which has a conical top, the underwater part being conical in both types." (126)

    February 21, 2008