After an argument with Sandra, Paul works on the landscape to cool off. Later, after seeing Paul's landscaping work, Sandra's friend praises his work. After hearing that, Sandra, who still angry with Paul, says:
"Don't believe Paul's man-of-the-land routine".

What is meaning of man of the land here?

  • "man of the land" isn't really an "established" collocation. In some contexts it might be used with the sense of a man of the earth (also not a well-known collocation, but at least that version is more common overall). In your context I'd say it's up to you the reader to decide why anyone would think Paul is closely associated with the land / agriculture / earthworking / whatever. Which according to Sandra, he isn't anyway. Dec 3, 2020 at 14:54

2 Answers 2


From google:

Land - rural areas and the rural way of life

So 'of the land' means 'from or relating to a rural lifestyle'

It is referring to his landscaping work being comparable to the work done by a rural worker such as a farmer.

Sandra is saying something along the lines of "don't believe in Paul's act of pretending to be a rural worker."

  • We don't have the full context, but from what I can see, it's possible Paul is actually a landscape gardener. And it's also possible he only ever works on landscaping inner-city gardens, so the idea of him being associated with "rural" qualities might not be implied at all. Dec 3, 2020 at 14:57
  • Imho the collocation horny handed sons of the soil (unsophisticated farming folk) is quite well established. But I wouldn't say that about man of the earth. Dec 3, 2020 at 15:01

A routine


3. A set sequence forming all or part of a performance by an actor, entertainer, etc., typically rehearsed in advance and performed on several occasions. Frequently with preceding distinguishing word or phrase.

1928 Charleston (W. Va.) Gaz. 20 Nov. 11/4 (caption) We figured out a little comedy routine with you as a lion-tamer and Joe doing the lion!

man of the land is a noun phrase that has been hyphenated as it is used as an adjective = that is in the manner of a man associated in some way with the land - usually, "the man" would be associated with the land in an agricultural sense, but here in the sense of "working with land."

The hyphenated noun can be altered by changing the noun:

A man of the land/sea/high mountains, etc., and can even use abstract concepts: a man of great ideas/fabulous wealth/low intelligence/poor taste, etc.

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