Definitions

Sorry, no definitions found.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Nancy and Sundry Buyers, the two hopeless, helpless bosuns; and, finally, the sea-lawyer, Charles Davis.

    CHAPTER XLIII

  • He should have been a land-lawyer, not a sea-lawyer.

    CHAPTER XXXI

  • In such manner John Lewis, commonly known as the "sea-lawyer," settled the matter out of hand.

    The Lost Poacher

  • The sea-lawyer looked at the other in amazement ere he answered:

    CHAPTER L

  • "How are they to know?" the sea-lawyer asked in answer to Bub's previous question.

    The Lost Poacher

  • As the sea-lawyer had said, the evidence was all against him.

    The Lost Poacher

  • "And if you go to shoutin 'off your sea-lawyer mouth," Mr. Pike continued, "I'll jerk you out of that and show you what real work is."

    CHAPTER XV

  • Mr. Pike turned, with a final "Damned sea-lawyer!" and started along the deck.

    CHAPTER XV

  • And let me tell you, Davis, you ain't the first sea-lawyer

    CHAPTER XV

  • John Lewis, the ship's "sea-lawyer," predicts they — the 23-men on the ship — will be picked up by a Russian patrol and hauled off to Siberia for poaching in Russian waters even though they are innocent.

    “The way of a man with a maid may be too wonderful to know. . .”

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I think this term describes ordinary sailors who declaimed to their crewmates about their rights, etc. under British Navy rules.

    "There were several recent draughts; and there were some King's hard bargains, including two or three sea-lawyers."
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation, 10

    Here's another passage that seems to explain it, but doesn't use the term specifically:
    "'...whenever a King's ship is lost there are always a few clever fellows who tell the rest that since the officers are commissioned to a particular ship they have no authority once that particular ship is gone. They also say the seaman's pay stops on the day of the wreck, so no service or obedience is due—the Articles of War no longer apply.'

    "'Are these things true?'

    "'Lord, no. They were once upon a time, but that was knocked on the head after the loss of the Wager in Anson's day...'"
    --p. 23

    March 6, 2008