Landlubber may not mean what you think


WordsByBob is amazed when each day the site analytics show that people from many countries read this blog about words

The statistics for the site since February show that people from more than 170 countries have viewed this blog on the use, misuse and humor in words.

As you might expect, the United States is first, followed by the U. K, Canada and Australia.

My guess is that some readers in other countries are using this as part of their tools to learn the English language.

So, with that in mind, today’s word is landlubber.  The word is also spelled land lubber.

I had forgotten about this word until I heard it spoken on a radio talk show recently.

A landlubber is someone who is no good at sea. This person may be an inexperienced seaman or a person unfamiliar with the sea.

Contrary to popular belief, many people think that the word landlubber is simply a mispronunciation of land-love.  This is not true.

The lubber part of the works refers to butterfingered, lumbering nincompoops. Rookie sailors may be given the label landlubber.

The word landlubber, first recorded in the late 1690s, is formed from land and the earlier lubber. This lubber dates from the fourteenth century

In the mid-1400th century it meant a big, clumsy, stupid fellow who lives in idleness.  It comes from lobre, or lobi. This word meant a plump, lazy lout, and is of Scandinavian origin.


4 responses to “Landlubber may not mean what you think

  1. Just love your spin on things, Bob! Apparently I am not alone. Good for you.
    Keep on writing,
    Maryjo Morgan

  2. I’ve been out to sea and I am definitely a “land lover”! 🙂

  3. Thanks for reading my blog.