swagman

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n swagman an itinerant Australian laborer who carries his personal belongings in a bundle as he travels around in search of work
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Swagman A bushman carrying a swag and traveling on foot; -- called also swagsman swagger, and swaggie. "Once a jolly swagman sat beside a billabong
      Under the shade of a coolibah tree.
      And he sang as he sat and watched his billy boiling,
      `Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?'"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n swagman A seller of low-priced trashy goods, trinkets, etc.
    • n swagman A man who travels in search of employment: so called because he carries his swag, or bundle of clothes, blanket, etc. Also swags-man, swagger.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Swagman one who carries his swag about with him in his search for work
    • ***

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Prob. swag (v.).

Usage

In literature:

The lonely swagman through the dark Must hump his swag past Chandos Park.
"The Man from Snowy River" by Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson
Let's hang the billy on a twig, and that old swagman that's coming along will think there's angels in the Bush.
"Joe Wilson and His Mates" by Henry Lawson
If it was a footman (swagman), and he was short of tobacco, old Howlett always had half a stick ready for him.
"On the Track" by Henry Lawson
I knew that swagman's walk.
"Children of the Bush" by Henry Lawson
The Western train had just arrived at Redfern railway station with a lot of ordinary passengers and one swagman.
"While the Billy Boils" by Henry Lawson
Something like a vice gripped the swagman by the leg, and he dropped Norah's wrist and bridle and roared like any bull.
"A Little Bush Maid" by Mary Grant Bruce
The existence of the swagman is the happiest vagrant's life in the world.
"Tramping on Life" by Harry Kemp
About two miles from the Waterholes Philip overtook another swagman, a man of middle age, who was going to Nyalong to look for work.
"The Book of the Bush" by George Dunderdale
He remembered that it had been his impression that the swagman bore his father a grudge, and the thought made him uneasy.
"The Childerbridge Mystery" by Guy Boothby
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In poetry:

‘Yes, I'm the Cove,” the Squatter said;
The Swagman answered, "Right,
I thought as much: show me some place
Where I can doss tonight."
"Are you the Cove?" by Joseph Furphy
I hope they’ll find the squatter “white”,
The cook and shearers “straight”,
When they have reached the shed to-night—
The swagman and his mate.
"The Swagman and His Mate" by Henry Lawson