landlubber


a person with little experience of ships or the sea

TRANSLATION

landlubber = die Landratte

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

After 25 years of living aboard a barge in the centre of York its owner decides to become a LANDLUBBER and sell the historic vessel.

BBC News


"While the pirates make $10,000 per hijacking, as much as 86% of the ransom cash goes to their LANDLUBBER colleagues."

The Economist - Somalia and Piracy

Did you
know?

landlubber
nautical noun

- a person who has little knowledge or experience of ships and travelling by sea

Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary


ORIGIN

Sailors are notorious for their “salty” language. And when it comes to dealing with people who have little or no experience at sea, their words are often harsh.

A passage in Herman Melville’s 19th century novel Omoo is a good example: “Now, nobody is so heartily despised as a lazy, good-for-nothing land-lubber; a sailor has no compassion for him.”

Nowadays, the expression landlubber is used in a less negative fashion, but still refers to a person who doesn’t know much about ships and sea travel.

At first glance, one would guess that this expression is just a morphed version of “land lover.” However, “lubber” is a 14th century word for someone big, stupid and lazy - it derived from “lobre” and “lob,” meaning a lazy fellow.

Although landlubber has been a sailor’s expression since the 16th century, the first recorded use of lubber referred to lazy monks (abbey-lubber). Lubber also appears in the obsolete term “lubberwort”, which refers to food or drink that makes one lazy.


LAZY LUBBERLANDS

The relation to lazy appears again in the expression Lubberland, an imaginary place where the principle occupations are idleness and gluttony.

Lubberland is also called Cockaigne, which is probably from the French “pays de cocaigne, or land of plenty. In Italian, the same place is called Paese della Cuccagna. The Dutch equivalent is Luilekkerland (literally, lazy luscious land), whereas in German it is referred to as Schlaraffenland.


SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“Jim is a real LANDLUBBER, I don’t think he’d appreciate a cruise-ship vacation.”


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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