In the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom in the middle of the 18th century, the term Landman referred to a seaman with less than a year's experience at sea. After a year, the landman was generally considered an Ordinary Seaman. Later, the term evolved into a more formal rating for a seaman.
Landsman was the lowest rank of the United States Navy in the 19th and early 20th centuries; it was given to new recruits with little or no experience at sea. Landsmen performed menial, unskilled work aboard ship. A Landsman who gained three years of experience or re-enlisted could be promoted to Ordinary Seaman. The rank existed from 1838 to 1921.