skipper n Cp OED ~ sb2 1 'master of a small ... vessel'
(1300-), EDD sb2 1 'head man on board a fishing-boat,' Fisheries of U S
149 'skipper of the dory' for sense 1; BERREY 401 'father' for sense 4.
1 The master of a fishing boat, vessel or crew; BOAT MASTER. Cp
1861 DE BOILIEU 25-6 The cargo unloaded and stored, the
crews are divided in parties of three or four men, each being titled according to the
position he holds in the boat. For instance, 'skipper,' 'second hand,' 'midshipman'; last
comes the 'captain,' who has the least to domerely, indeed, to cook for the rest
and to keep the boat clean. 1866 WILSON 207 [The planter] generally commands the boat
himself, and his title is skipper... The planter's wife is generally skipper of the shore
crew.  1898 Nfld Law Reports 147 The defendant, seven with himself to a
cod-seine boat, and five under plaintiff, who received a bounty as skipper in a
hook-and-line boat. 1898 Christmas Bells 14 Skipper Tom (skipper being the
especial title of boat-masters at that time) and three other hardy fishers were
'fit-out.' 1936 SMITH 31 When Sunday came Skipper Garland came over, a distance of five
miles, to know how we were getting on, and was delighted to hear of our good luck. He had
met with the same luck himself, and had got fish in the first haul after setting his
trap. 1953 Nfld Fish Develop Report 18 In most 'lay' arrangements, the owner of
the fishing enterprise, i.e., the skipper (and his partners, if any), bears the full
extent of these costs as well as capital costs. 1974 SQUIRE 18 The skipper of the
schooner took half the catch of fish. The other half was shared equally among the crew...
The skipper provided everything for the voyage, the schooner, boats and gear, food for
his crew up to six months of the year. 1976 Decks Awash v (2), p. 4 The license,
which is slated to go to all fishermen, skippers and crewmembers, must be granted before
any other fishing license can be given to the fisherman.
2 Term of
respect for a person of high status or esteem; in some contexts a familiar form of
[cl830] 1890 GOSSE 53 During the first summer,
while the skipper (our representative for the modern term 'governor') was in England...
1858 [LOWELL] i, 90 They called him 'Skipper' as a token of respect. 1895 J A
Folklore viii, 37 The word skipper is in universal use, and so commonly
applied as almost to have lost its original meaning of the master of a small vessel. It
is used toward every person whom one wishes to address with respect, and is almost as
common as 'Mr' is elsewhere. Generally the Christian name is used after it, as Skipper
Jan, Skipper Kish. 1897 WILLSON 38 ... patiently waiting until they could unfold their
grievances or their demands to the 'skipper,' as Sir William is called.  1972
GORDON 3 As was the case with most of the little communities one finds along the coast,
this one had its leader or 'skipper,' as he was generally called. 1924 ENGLAND 46
Everybody aboard a sealing vessel is 'skipper.' T 406-672 What do you say,
3 Principal of a merchant house or his delegate in shore
operations on fishing premises.
1836 [WIX]2 42-3 While
I was thus engaged [in sermon], Mr John Cosens, who had been absent, returned, and heard
with much satisfaction, of the very hospitable reception which his 'skipper' had given me
on my arrival.  1973 KELLY 19 We got into harbour about 8 a.m. 'Skipper George,'
alias George Reynolds, the man in charge of the merchant's rooms, coming out ... with a
crew, to pilot us in through the narrow entrance. 1909 BROWNE 70 The merchant, in the
fisherman's vocabulary, is the outfitter who provides the supplies for the fishing
industry ... and the principal of the 'firm' is known as 'The Skipper.' M 71-95 'Skipper'
was used for the head of a household, firm or any employer.
Husband; head of the household.
1874 Maritime Mo iii, 547
Jerusha Biddicomb ... observed that 'she should have to wait long before her "skipper"
took out the baby for an airing.' P 102-60 As a young man I had a rifle which the skipper
gave me permission to use and any seal that I shot from the bank would sink to the bottom
this was my share of the catch. P 210-70 Older married people in Carbonear don't call
each other by their first names. The man is always 'Skipper' and the lady is always
'Missus.' 1973 WADEL 55 An outport wife is supposed to admit, at least in public, that
the husband is in chargein the local language, that the husband is 'the skipper.'
1977 QUILLIAM 1 The son told the skipper if their old mutt could be taught it would be a
wonderful companion when he was away. 1982 Evening Telegram 2 Jan, p. 13 The poor
old skipper spoke to everyone [even] to the family rooster, here you are son, dig in your
heels, there's lots [of food] for everyone.
5 In the woods
industry, contractor for a logging operation.
 1965 PEACOCK
(ed) iii, 746 "The Boys at 'Ninety-Five' " ... Herb Porter is our skipper, with him we
did go way, / He is a good old lumberjack raised up in Trinity Bay. / Herb Baker is some
foreman as you may understand, / No bigger sport can be found on the shores of
Newfoundland. P 65-64 The man in charge of a lumber camp is the 'skipper.' He owns the
camp, some tractors, horses, sleds, etc.
6 Attrib skipper man:
see sense 1 above. Cp PLANTER MAN.
1909 GRENFELLI 63-4 George
Read was skipper-man an' th' rest was just youngsters. 1916 FPU (Twillingate)
Minutes 1 Mar The Chairman then asked all the skipper men and old members to come
forward and take seats on the platform. 1953 Nfld Fish Develop Report 21 Moreover,
the conclusion is based on an investigation of families of skipper menand it is
possible that among sharemen, who belong probably to a younger age-group than skippers,
some of the more strenuous alternative occupations contribute more significantly to
family incomes. T 50/2-64 Every oar in the water at one time, and a man scullin'
mostly the skipper man, with a big oar. 1975 Evening Telegram 1 Feb, p. 11
In 1968 ... there were 68 skippermen in trap boats, while last year only 23 drew berths
and only 14 traps were fished. 1979 Salt Water, Fresh Water 65 And the captain of
a dragger today represents the restoration of the Newfoundland aristocracy, which always
was the skipper man, the master of his own vessel.