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A bumboat is a small boat used to ferry supplies to ships moored away from the shore. Originally referring to a scavenger's boat, the name comes from the combination of the Dutch word for a canoe—"boomschuit" ("boom" meaning "tree"), and "boat".
In Tobias Smollett's 1748 novel The Adventures of Roderick Random, a "bumboat woman" conducts business with sailors imprisoned on board a pressing tender moored near the Tower Wharf on the Thames River, London, England. In HMS Pinafore, W.S. Gilbert describes 'Little Buttercup' as a Bumboat Woman.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Bumboat.|
- "The Bumboat Woman's Story"—one of W. S. Gilbert's Bab Ballads (from the Gilbert & Sullivan Archive)
- Singaporean bumboat—photo by Rajit Vijayan
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