AskDefine | Define landsman

Dictionary Definition



1 a person who lives and works on land [syn: landlubber, landman]
2 an inexperienced sailor; a sailor on the first voyage [syn: landlubber, lubber]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


  1. The opposite of a seaman. A person who does not go to sea, who lacks the skills of a sailor or who is uncomfortable on ships or boats.
  2. A fellow Jew who comes from the same district or town, especially in Eastern Europe
  3. Someone of a similar heritage or belief system




Derived terms


Extensive Definition

otheruses Landmann Landman (or, in the United States Navy, Landsman) was a military rank given to naval recruits.
In the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom in the middle of the 18th century, the term Landman referred to a seaman with less than a year's experience at sea. After a year, the landman was generally considered an Ordinary Seaman. Later, the term evolved into a more formal rating for a seaman.
Landsman was the lowest rank of the United States Navy in the 19th and early 20th centuries; it was given to new recruits with little or no experience at sea. Landsmen performed menial, unskilled work aboard ship. A Landsman who gained three years of experience or re-enlisted could be promoted to Ordinary Seaman. The rank existed from 1838 to 1921.


  • N.A.M. Roger. The Wooden World: An Anatomy of the Georgian Navy. W.W. Norton and Company, 1986.
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