shooter? gunman?

In western movies we see many characters who can use guns very well.

I am Japanese and Japnese-English dictionarys explain 「gunman」 means a man who uses a gun to commit a crime or terrorist act.

But also characters like Wyatt Earp are called gunman.

「shooter」? 「gunman」?

Which word is match for calling the characters?

5 Answers

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  • 2 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    In terms of common usage, "gunfighter" and "shootist" were professional people skilled in the use of guns at a time when criminals were hunted for bounties. A "Wanted Dead or Alive" bounty poster would send any professional gunfighters after the wanted man. You would also hire them for security services sometimes.

    Very often, when the person was supposed to carry a gun, it was understood as part of the job title, such as "Sheriff" or "Deputy Sheriff." You would know that such people carried guns regularly. Bank guards also carried guns. Some people would also hire out as "armed escorts" - for example to guard wagon trains of settlers.

    When you use the terms "shooter" or "gunman" in modern usage, you are talking more about a news story involving a person who used a gun in committing a crime. I don't think older usage differs that much from this interpretation.

  • 2 years ago

    if you call someone a gunman and they have not committed a terrorist act, it means they are skilled with handling firearms. Shooter can also mean the same thing as gunman if it said when someone commits a crime. English is confusing, I know.

  • 2 years ago

    You dictionary lacks context of current American culture. The press and academia are excessively anti-freedom, and so following that they are anti-gun. Their publications, including your dictionary, are written showing their bias. To them any gunman is a criminal, whether or not the historical definition and use agree with their view of the world.

  • Joe
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    In the literature of the Old West, "gunfighter" was probably the most common term. I've seen the term "shootist", as well. Those terms imply some kind of lawlessness, or a "gun for hire", at best.

    Wyatt Erp was a real-life law enforcement officer; eventually a Deputy U.S. Marshal. I would not call him a gunfighter, and certainly not a gunman.

    I don't think that your Japanese-Engilsh dictionary is very good in this area.

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  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    Which is correct? Bush or Plant?

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