He talked a heap of politics, and so did his officers, and when this Ambassador Genet got rid of his land-stomach and laid down the law after dinner, a rooks' parliament was nothing compared to their cabin. I learned to know most of the men which had worked the French Revolution, through waiting at table and hearing talk about 'em.

This is from "Rewards and Fairies" "Brother Square-Toe" by Kipling. http://pinkmonkey.com/dl/library1/digi300.pdf


What is the meaning of "land-stomach"?

I am glad if some one kindly teach me.


1 Answer 1


They are on a sailing ship - and being on a ship often gives people stomach problems, including nausea. When he got rid of his "land-stomach" he had become acclimated to being on a ship.

Terms similar to this that are still in use are "sea legs" and "land legs". A sailor who has been on a boat for a long time takes a little while to get used to walking on land again - when he does, he has "found his land legs" or "got his land legs back".

Sea legs

bodily adjustment to the motion of a ship indicated especially by ability to walk steadily and by freedom from seasickness

  • I remember my first time going to sea, straight out of port and into the tail end of a tropical storm. On returning to port we were headed out to do a quiet night of drinking and etc when I discovered that while the ship stood still, the land now rolled pretty heavily. Ten beers down the hatch, though, and I was right as rain. :-) Nov 26, 2016 at 5:30
  • @John Feltz Thank you for your detailed answer. It is so helpful! Nov 26, 2016 at 7:53
  • 2
    I can also visualise the 'land-stomach' being got rid of literally, over the side of the boat!
    – Laurence
    Nov 26, 2016 at 12:01

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