Landlubber!

It’s 22:50 already? What happened to the day, and the night as well? Oh, yeah, got that done, and feel good about slaying that dragon at last, and the Kings won again tonight (six in a row, back into a playoff spot, woo hoo!), but there are no more functional brain cells in the creative part of my grey matter.

Back to the Silly Word Flashcard deck!

Tonight’s word is “landlubber.” I’m guessing that most of us know what it means, but it’s in here because it sound silly, not because we don’t know what it is. (Unlike “smellfungus!”) It’s defined as “someone who doesn’t know about boats or hasn’t been out to sea.” Fair enough.

The first thing that grabs me about the other information on the card is that under “Similar Words” is says, “This word is one of a kind!”

I beg to differ.

There might not be any similar words pertaining to the sea, but there are plenty of words for someone who doesn’t know about a particular aspect of life. The first thing that comes to my mind is what I was called (among other things) when I moved to Vermont at age 13. In Vermont, if you come from outside, particularly from another state or, worse, from one of the big cities like Boston or New York City, you are a “flatlander.” It’s not a compliment.

Terms such as “carpetbagger” or “snowbird” indicate someone from outside the area, often referring to someone coming in to take advantage of the locals or take away something they’re not entitled to. But “landlubber” and “flatlander” refer to someone without experience, with an overtone indicating that in their ignorance they’re missing out on something wonderful and glorious and should be pitied or scorned because of it.

The second thing that I see is the “See Also” recommendation — “Cats.” There’s a subtle humor in there which I find charming.

Finally, I recall that in several science fiction novels there are created terms that would be the space age equivalent of “landlubber,” indicating with the same scorn someone who has not been off-planet. “Dirtgrubber” or something of the same ilk.

Any of my Vermont friends have any further insight on the use of “flatlander?” Any other terms that anyone can think of to fit into the same category as flatlander and landlubber?

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Filed under LA Kings, Paul, Science Fiction

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