landlubber

If you've never set foot on any kind of boat, you're a landlubber, someone who's either brand new to sailing or is totally unfamiliar with it.

The word landlubber comes from the obsolete lubber, which isn't a funny way to say "lover," but a term that evolved from meaning "clumsy oaf" to "inexperienced seaman." Back in the 15th century, lubber was also used as a verb, to mean "sail badly." These days, a new, inexperienced crew member on a schooner might be called a landlubber. If your brother gets queasy on a short ferry ride, feel free to call him a landlubber too.

Definitions of landlubber
  1. noun
    an inexperienced sailor; a sailor on the first voyage
    synonyms: landsman, lubber
    see moresee less
    type of:
    beginner, initiate, novice, tiro, tyro
    someone new to a field or activity
  2. noun
    a person who lives and works on land
    synonyms: landman, landsman
    see moresee less
    type of:
    denizen, dweller, habitant, indweller, inhabitant
    a person who inhabits a particular place
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$19.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$19.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week