from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The sailor who sings the main line of a sea shanty (the other sailors singing the responses or choruses)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The song was rendered by one singer, called the shantyman, and the chorus by the sailors who performed their work in time with the music.

    The Shanty Book, Part I, Sailor Shanties

  • The shantyman was usually a person of considerable musical importance, who sang his songs in a more or less finished manner; his melodies were clean, clear-cut things, without any of the folk-songer's quavers and wobbles.

    The Shanty Book, Part I, Sailor Shanties

  • A 'shantyman' mounts the roof of the hut and sits astride it.

    The Shanty Book, Part I, Sailor Shanties

  • Of his father he knew literally only this fact -- that be had been a "shantyman" in his time too, and was killed by a strained rope striking him across the middle.

    Crowded Out! and Other Sketches

  • Many jobs, such as hoisting and lowering sails and raising the anchor, required the coordinated effort of most of the crew; a crew member, designated the “shantyman,” would lead the singing or chanting, establishing a cadence.

    Hanging Captain Gordon

  • The next song was composed by a contemporary shantyman, named Sam Peck.

    The River Lea

  • He was a gambler who told tall tales like a shantyman, but he also quoted Shakespeare and read modern intellectuals.

    Gabriel's Lady

  • Significantly different from the other version on the DT, the late Stan Hugill said that sung by a good shantyman, this song and its words were too slow to please the officers!

    Tom's Gone to Hilo 2

  • He wore the corduroys and Strathcona boots of a shantyman; about his waist was a bright red scarf.

    Every Man for Himself

  • I used to notice, even as a boy, how it seemed to inspire the shantyman to sentimental flights of _Heimweh_ that at times came perilously near poetry.

    The Shanty Book, Part I, Sailor Shanties


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