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"I was driving a dynamite truck when I was 14 years old in North Carolina."
- Harlan Ellison

Space Legs  
  The ability to walk under high gee acceleration on a space ship.  

Lazarus saw from his face that it was necessary to the man's morale. "Okay... if you can handle yourself under two gees."

Ford struggled heavily up out of the acceleration couch he was in. "I've got space legs. What kind of sandwiches?"

"I'd say corned beef, but it would probably be some damned substitute. Make mine cheese, with rye if they've got it, and use plenty of mustard. And a gallon of coffee. What are you having, Andy?"

"Me? Oh, anything that is convenient."

Ford started to leave, bracing himself heavily against double weight, then he added, "Oh-it might save time if you could tell me where to go." -

"Brother," said Lazarus, "if this ship isn't pretty well crammed with food, we've all made a terrible mistake. Scout around. You'll find some."

From Methuselah's Children, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1941
Additional resources -

Not one to be hobbled by consistency, Heinlein also uses it in a different sense in Space Cadet (1948):

When the class was dismissed he hurried to his room and into his own cubicle, selected a spool on Martian history, inserted it in his projector, and began to study. He had been tempted to remain in the free-fall gymnasium to practice; he wanted very badly to pass the "space legs" test - free-fall acrobatics - as those who had passed it and qualified in the use of basic space suits as well were allowed one liberty a month at Terra Station.

And yes, EE 'Doc Smith used this phrase - but not until First Lensman, published in 1950!

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  More Ideas and Technology from Methuselah's Children
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