A small, flat-bottomed type of boat.
Origin: From bateau
a boat; esp. a flat-bottomed, clumsy boat used on the Canadian lakes and rivers
A bateau or batteau is a shallow-draft, flat-bottomed boat which was used extensively across North America, especially in the colonial period and in the fur trade. It was traditionally pointed at both ends but came in a wide variety of sizes. The name derives from the French word, bateau, which is simply the word for boat and the plural, bateaux, follows the French, an unusual construction for an English plural. In the southern United States, the term is still used to refer to flat-bottomed boats, including those elsewhere called jon boats. Proper spelling remains a problem with researchers. Dr. William E. Trout III, a member of the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society who has written about the batteaux, explained the issue thus: We use the spelling "batteau" because we consider that to be the correct spelling for our kind of boat - the James River Batteau, invented by the Rucker brothers in 1771 and later patented. This is the way it was spelled during the batteau era, even in the Virginia state laws. Evidently after batteaux were forgotten and the word was not used anymore, this spelling was forgotten and reverted to the French spelling for that general type of boat. We have a lot of trouble with editors who don't want to know that the correct spelling for our type of boat was "batteau," just because current dictionaries don't have it. Some regional dictionaries do say that "batteau" was the usual American spelling during the 19th century. The plural is "batteaux." Since 1985 replicas of James River Batteaux have descended the James every year during the week-long James River Batteau Festival, and have explored other rivers in and around Virginia. See Batteau.org
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
bä-to′, n. a light river-boat, esp. those used on Canadian rivers. [Fr.—O. Fr. batel, boat.]
Dictionary of Nautical Terms
A flat-bottomed, sharp-ended clumsy boat, used on the rivers and lakes of Canada; some of them are large. Also a peculiar army pontoon.
Military Dictionary and Gazetteer
(Fr.). A light boat.
The numerical value of bateau in Chaldean Numerology is: 1
The numerical value of bateau in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5