Moby-Dick: Landsmen


  1. men who have never ventured out to sea
  2. someone who does not live near the ocean

The word landsmen appears in the following sentences from Moby-Dick:

Chapter 1 > Paragraph 3 > Sentence 5:

But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster—tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks.

Chapter 24 > Paragraph 1 > Sentence 1:

As Queequeg and I are now fairly embarked in this business of whaling; and as this business of whaling has somehow come to be regarded among landsmen as a rather unpoetical and disreputable pursuit; therefore, I am all anxiety to convince ye, ye landsmen, of the injustice hereby done to us hunters of whales.

Chapter 32 > Paragraph 6 > Sentence 3:

Many are the men, small and great, old and new, landsmen and seamen, who have at large or in little, written of the whale.

Chapter 32 > Paragraph 14 > Sentence 7:

Almost any one must have noticed that all the fish familiar to landsmen have not a flat, but a vertical, or up-and-down tail.

Chapter 32 > Paragraph 29 > Sentence 2:

(Grampus).—Though this fish, whose loud sonorous breathing, or rather blowing, has furnished a proverb to landsmen, is so well known a denizen of the deep, yet is he not popularly classed among whales.

Chapter 45 > Paragraph 7 > Sentence 3:

So ignorant are most landsmen of some of the plainest and most palpable wonders of the world, that without some hints touching the plain facts, historical and otherwise, of the fishery, they might scout at Moby Dick as a monstrous fable, or still worse and more detestable, a hideous and intolerable allegory.

Chapter 58 > Paragraph 6 > Sentence 1:

But though, to landsmen in general, the native inhabitants of the seas have ever regarded with emotions unspeakably unsocial and repelling; though we know the sea to be an everlasting terra incognita, so that Columbus sailed over numberless unknown worlds to discover his one superficial western one; though, by vast odds, the most terrific of all mortal disasters have immemorially and indiscriminately befallen tens and hundreds of thousands of those who have gone upon the waters; though but a moment's consideration will teach that, however baby man may brag of his science and skill, and however much, in a flattering future, that science and skill may augment; yet for ever and for ever, to the crack of doom, the sea will insult and murder him, and pulverize the stateliest, stiffest frigate he can make; nevertheless, by the continual repetition of these very impressions, man has lost that sense of the full awfulness of the sea which aboriginally belongs to it.

Chapter 65 > Paragraph 6 > Sentence 1:

It is not, perhaps, entirely because the whale is so excessively unctuous that landsmen seem to regard the eating of him with abhorrence; that appears to result, in some way, from the consideration before mentioned: i.e. that a man should eat a newly murdered thing of the sea, and eat it too by its own light.

Chapter 78 > Paragraph 12 > Sentence 1:

I know that this queer adventure of the Gay-Header's will be sure to seem incredible to some landsmen, though they themselves may have either seen or heard of some one's falling into a cistern ashore; an accident which not seldom happens, and with much less reason too than the Indian's, considering the exceeding slipperiness of the curb of the Sperm Whale's well.

Concordance for the word landsmen from Moby-Dick.

Herman Melville
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