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Seeking a good definiton for "landship"

As above I am in need of "landship" as a noun (and others), it has been superseded in a manner by the word "tank". I also have interest in the development and origins of the word.


  • Here's the OED entry

    (a) A wagon or other vehicle serving the same purpose on land as a ship on the sea; spec. = tank n.7 (b) A ship erected and kept on land for training purposes.

    [1627 J. Taylor Armado sig. B1v, (heading) A Nauy of Land Ships.]
    1837 Penny Mag. 22 July 276/1 The ox-carts of the Pampas..are quaintly termed by the natives, barcos de tierra, i.e., ‘land-ships’.
    1869 Cassell's Mag. Jan. 156/2 In some of the best schools of France and Belgium, it has long been a custom to erect a dry land-ship in the playground.
    1907 L. Osbourne Adventurer xiii. 159 The land-ship..was hardly more than an aluminium shell..requiring weeks of labor, possibly months, to make her habitable and ready. Ready? For what? To sail those vast and billowy plains?
    1907 L. Osbourne Adventurer xiv. 172 Is a land-ship feasible—and if it is, will you build it?
    1916 Daily News 19 Sept. 1/2 The new land-ships or tanks did invaluable work.
    1916 Daily Mirror 22 Nov. 1/1 (caption) To-day we are able to publish the first photograph of one of his Majesty's land ships which have been making such successful cruises on the sea of mud on the Somme.
    1927 Glasgow Herald 23 June 7 By ship, aeroplane, balloon, or landship.
    1934 W. S. Churchill Great War II. xxxv. 519/1 The next day, the 20th [February 1915], I sent for Mr. Tennyson-d'Eyncourt..and convened a conference... As the result of it the Landships Committee of the Admiralty was formed.
    1972 Times Lit. Suppl. 4 Feb. 113/4 The original initiative in tank development, the so-called ‘landships’, was naval rather than military.

    I'm not entirely sure what the square brackets signify around the 1627 quote.

    Nor is is clear what the purpose was of the thing discussed in the 1907 quotes.

    This entry has not been fully revised, so more information may be published before long.

    Do check whether you can access the OED online through membership of your local library.

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