from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- In the United States navy, a first-class petty officer in charge in a fireroom. He “tends” water to the boilers, sees that fires are properly cleaned and stoked, etc. There is also a rating of chief water tender, who is a chief petty officer.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The 500-ton tug and water tender Flying Kestrel was visiting the interned fleet that morning with an excursion party of 400 children from Orkney schools.