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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Landlubber \Land"lub`ber\, n. [Prop. fr. land + lubber, or possibly corrupted fr. laudlouper.] (Naut.) One who passes his life on land; -- so called among seamen in contempt or ridicule.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

also land-lubber, sailor's term of contempt for a landsman, c.1700, from land (n.) + lubber (q.v.).


n. (context nautical pejorative English) Someone unfamiliar with the sea or seamanship, especially a novice seaman.

  1. n. a person who lives and works on land [syn: landsman, landman]

  2. an inexperienced sailor; a sailor on the first voyage [syn: lubber, landsman]

Usage examples of "landlubber".

The leading attackers caught the landlubber before he could swing the bottle.

His bleary eyes were looking toward the landlubber whom he had failed to slay.

Sailor Martz had sagged to the floor under the pressure of the landlubber with the dark-hued skin.

The precise arrangement was bewildering to any landlubber, but Jedit understood one simple fact-cut the stays and the mast would topple.

Even Lincoln had not yet learned the quintessential difference between that civil control by which the fighting services are so rightly made the real servants of the whole people and that civilian interference which is very much the same as if a landlubber owning, a ship should grab the wheel repeatedly in the middle of a storm.

The Mediterraneans deferred to officers and sergeants, of course, but seemed to accept the mass of other ranks as just another batch of landlubber soldiers shipped aboard to do the fighting and, they hoped, the dying while they the sailors handled the ship.

Gruff-voiced chiefs and bosuns shouted orders as she and several other awkward landlubbers rushed to help haul lanyards and lash straining sheets.

What could landlubbers ever know of the whirlwind courtships of the riverfolk, the few scattered hours together when the two ships met in port?

They marveled at what they thought was the stupidity of two landlubbers, attempting such a feat in a small and practically open boat.

He had set them down as a set of landlubbers and braggadocios, and was disposed to treat them accordingly.

Him"-he pointed at a lascar seaman-"rams it and you"-he peered at Braithwaite again-"puts the shot in and the blackie rams that as well and none of you landlubbers gets in his way, and you"-he looked at Sharpe-"aims the piece.

Lieutenant Connors reported, though it was scarcely necessary, for every man aboard except the landlubbers like Sharpe had recognized the signal.

Soft lights from lanthorns (which, if you inspected them closely, contained sooty and smelly candles), the atmosphere of a ship of war (comprising mostly an unpleasant odour from the bilges, but sometimes mis could be drowned by a shrewd captain who, a few hours before the ball began, had the rigging near the quarterdeck liberally soaked with Stockholm tar, which was the smell roost landlubbers associated with ships), and the sight of the shiny black guns and the roundshot in racks nearby (producing girlish shrieks, though none of the visitors ever stopped to think that the roundshot represented death and destruction) - all this provided an atmosphere of seduction far more potent than the most carefully prepared boudoir.