"no fear of scurvy"
Scurvy symptoms
Public DomainScurvy symptoms - Credit: National Archives UK

Scurvy is practically synonymous with seafaring. On long voyages where it was essential that food provisions must not go off, sailors lived on a diet of salt meat, bread and dried goods. Without fruit or vegetables, they had no source of vitamin C and after several weeks began to suffer. Their gums swelled up, their teeth fell out, their bodies became stiff and racked with pain, and they developed purple splotches on their lower bodies. Death was inevitable and came swiftly, sometimes cutting off the sufferer’s life while he was mid-sentence.