What Does Boat Mean? [Explained]

One of the earliest forms of travel among people is boats. Before there were carts, and even before there were wagons pulled by horses, people would use boats to get from one place to another.

From simple rafts made of tied together logs, to hollowed-out trees that took the form of canoes, boats have been an essential part of travel.  Boats have been used for transportation, commerce, shipping items over distances, and even have been used to wage war.

What Does Boat Mean?

The word boat has a few different meanings. The most common meaning for the word boat is “a small floating watercraft that is propelled”. Boats can be propelled in many different ways.

They can use paddles and oars used by passengers to move to the boat. It can use sails or a motor to harness the power of wind or fuel to move the boat forward. The word boat is a term usually used with crafts that are less than 45 feet in total length. However, it is also used as a generic word for many different types of boats, ships, and watercraft.

What Type of Word is Boat?

The word boat is interesting because it is a word that can be used as both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it is a small watercraft. As a verb, it typically means to travel by the use of a boat or small watercraft.

What is Another Name For a Boat?

There is a wide array of different types of boats and vessels that fall into the “boat” category. Other words that also mean the same thing are lakers (these are lake-based boats), craft, ship, vessel, schooner, raft, canoe, watercraft.

Each word may have a slightly different meaning, but all typically represent a small water-based vehicle used for transporting people, goods, or services.

Where Does the Word Boat Originate From?

The origin of the word boat is in fact very interesting. It can be traced back over hundreds of years to its Anglo-Norman roots. While things of this nature can be tricky, most language experts believe that the word boat actually originates from the Germanesq word “bat”, which as stated before, was an Anglo-Norman word that means “a boat, ship, or vessel”. There are variations of this word, “bat” all over the globe.

What is BOAT Slang For?

Sometimes the word boat is also used as an acronym that stands for a specific phrase. One of the most popular sayings that BOAT stands for is “bust out another thousand”.

This phrase can sound a little weird if you are not familiar with boats and the costs associated with repairs, storage, and safety regulation compliance. There are several different variations of this slang phrase, but they all seemingly related to the high costs associated with boat ownership.

Some common variations of the phrase “Bust Out Another Thousand” include:

Bankruptcy On A Trailer.
Break Out Another Thousand.
Blow Out Another Thousand.
Bring Over Another Thousand.

What is the Purpose of a Boat?

Boats can be used for professional and personal reasons. They can be used for recreation and sporting events such as boat races and fishing competitions. A boat or ship’s main purpose is to move passengers and/or goods across water based pathways that do not allow for more traditional transportation.

Boats are typically used over short distances, whereas ships can travel over longer distances, like ocean voyages. Rafts are another type of boat that is said to be for one-way travel. Many rafts are guided by a pole that helps the passengers guide the ship, but these rafts are almost never propelled, instead of using the natural flow o the water to move along specific waterways.  


The Anglo-Norman word “bat” can be traced as the original version of the word boat. However, since then the word has taken on a wide range of meanings, from ships and vessels that transport people, goods, and services, to a verb associated with the use and travel by traditional boats.

Boats can be self-propelled or guided using paddles, oars, or guide poles. While boats are a very early form of travel, they often are associated with a huge cost when it comes to the repair or upgrades things. This fact has led to many people creating slag terms for boats and boating, most of which poke fun at the high cost of boat ownership.

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