I've seen lots of these, at ports, floating on the water:

I don't have a clue about what they are called.

  • 1
    On the basis of the top answer on a relevant Meta question I'm reopening this question. It's not obvious how to look up something if you don't know what it's called.
    – Andrew Leach
    Oct 22, 2021 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


light(ed) buoy

Images of lighted buoys

lighted buoy
Floating object used as beacon. Visual Dictionary illustration

light buoy

(Nautical) A buoy with a light on top which is lit at night to aid navigation. Wiki


A floating device that can have many purposes. It can be anchored (stationary) or allowed to drift with ocean currents. Wiki

  • 4
    And the bird resting atop of it is a gull. Buoys and gulls.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 22, 2021 at 16:27
  • Encores aweigh!
    – DjinTonic
    Oct 22, 2021 at 16:33
  • The pronunciation can be tricky. Buoy has two syllables /bui/, but /ui/ is not a common diphthong in English and /bui/ becomes /boy/ very easily. There are any number of jokes that trade on this confusion. Oct 22, 2021 at 18:46
  • 1
    OED has Brit. /bɔɪ/, /bwɔɪ/, U.S./ˈbui/, /bɔɪ/
    – DjinTonic
    Oct 22, 2021 at 20:28
  • 1
    @JohnLawler - It has two syllables in American English. In Australian and British English it sounds much like "boy".
    – nnnnnn
    Oct 23, 2021 at 6:29

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