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  • She winna let the powder-monkey of a boy help her.

    Saint Ronan's Well

  • The Revolution entitled the strong populace of the Faubourg St. Antoine, and every horse-boy and powder-monkey in the army, to look on Napoleon as flesh of his flesh and the creature of his party: but there is something in the success of grand talent which enlists an universal sympathy.

    Representative Men

  • When the captain in command at the station hails on board, every man and boy of the crew, from the powder-monkey to the first-lieutenant, are mustered in pipe-clay on the quarter-deck, and there, with the ship's commission in his hand, every one must report himself as he calls over the names.

    Willis the Pilot

  • Captain Farmer, who had come out of his cabin again immediately on hearing the lifeboat's crew called away, down to the youngest cadet and powder-monkey, was willing and anxious to do his best to save our unfortunate shipmate, without one of us knowing as yet who the poor fellow was whose life was thus imperilled.

    Crown and Anchor Under the Pen'ant

  • And did we not show them the very guns, and the muskets, the pistols and the cutlasses, the shot-lockers and magazines, and tell them how the lad, scrubbing a brass kettle in the caboose, had been occupied as a powder-monkey and seen blood shed in earnest?

    Recollections of Old Liverpool

  • Captain Scott, of the cutter, told me a singular story of what occurred during the action between the Constitution and Macedonian, -- he being powder-monkey aboard the former ship.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 102, April, 1866

  • Ellangowan had him placed as cabin-boy or powder-monkey on board an armed sloop or yacht belonging to the revenue, through the interest of the late Commissioner Bertram a kinsman of his own.

    Chapter LII

  • Below them came the Admiral, with his wife (she always came and sat behind him, like a remarkably smart little powder-monkey, during the afternoon drive): below them, the Gilmertons; and last of all, thank Heaven!

    The Right Stuff Some Episodes in the Career of a North Briton

  • I was powder-monkey on the _Royal George_; he was Hawke's orderly midshipman.

    The Gentleman A Romance of the Sea

  • Ding-dong, pit-boy and powder-monkey and all, only for that.

    The Gentleman A Romance of the Sea


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  • So in addition to carrying a charge, it has to lug around a hyphen? Sheer drudgery.

    July 1, 2008

  • It's the person who carries the charge. I think it's been listed already as powder monkey, its more usual usage now (though in the past it often carried a hyphen).

    July 1, 2008

  • Yeah. I like the word monkey more generally to mean the lowest rung of a profession.

    June 30, 2008

  • Ask chained_bear. She gets to blow up things on her job. :-)

    I believe it's the person who either carries or is in charge of explosives, thtownse.

    June 30, 2008

  • Awesome - this phrase is used in "March of the Black Queen" by Queen, written by the late great Freddie Mercury. What does it mean though?

    June 30, 2008