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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hobo Dictionary OCR
Ptak Science Books has this cool post: Tramp-Speak of Antiquarian Road Warriors: ABC's of Tramps, Hobos and Vagabonds

It had scanned images, but was unsearchable and out of order, so I OCRed it, and listed the terms below.
Another fine book is the fascinating Panzram, which uses many jail/criminal terms, explaining their meanings along the way.


Mission Stiff — one that eats in Mission soup lines
Bindle Stiff — one that carries a small bundle
Ding — one that bums cash on the street
Gay Cat — one that watches while the other does something generally illegal
Ding Bat — a tramp that is crazy
Wire — a tramp that makes wire articles and peddles then
Mush Faker — a tramp that makes a fake and peddles it
Dummy — a tramp that is deaf and dumb
Sticks - a tramp that uses crutches or sells pencils, or both
Chuck Simple — a tramp that is always looking for something to eat
Reader Stiff — one that carries a cheap peddlers' license or a doctor's report that keeps the law from bothering him too much
Wingey — a tramp without an arm
Legs — a tramp without legs; ironical, what?
Inside Ding — a tramp who bums business houses and offices for cash
Jingle Cat — a tramp who won't lot another tramp around his fire
Gandy Dancer — a tramp that works on a railroad track
King Snipe — boss of gandy dancer in his section or otherwise known as section boss
The Queen — King snipe's wife
Shine — Negro
Native — Local resident
Home Guard — the same as above, only more so
Hoosier — a greenhorn tramp
Okie — poor people from Oklahoma
Arkie — poor people from Arkansas
Tex — poor people from Texas
Booster — a tramp shop lifter
Lumps — a tramp that buns houses for only sandwiches and coffee
Hod Man — a holdup man on the tramp
Live One — tramp with money, or anyone with money
Mark — the same as above
Hack — sucker in a card game
Box Man — a safe cracker
Peteman — the same as above
Reader — a license, doctor's papers showing ill-health, etc. Doctor's papers can be bought at the right source
D. A. — District Attorney
Specs — a tramp with eye glasses, or who peddles cheap glasses
Wolf — a tramp to get boys for immoral purposes, usually assadomy
Punk — the boy who is the victim of assodomy (sic -me)
Gunsel — the same as above
Gazconie — the same as above
Fruit — a moral pervert
Fruit Merchant— the same as above
Queer — same as above
Hooker — a prostitute
Hay Bag - a woman tramp
Jingle Buzzard — a tramp that eats by bumming another tramp in the jingles
Jingle, or Jungles — the place down the track where tramps cook
Sticks — same as above
High-Powered Tramp — one who can bum anywhere and get it using all methods
Junker — a tramp who finds and sells junk to a junk dealer
Junkey --a tramp who takes dope
Timber — a tramp that works in the woods once in a while
Timber Beast — a man who works steadier
Timber — pencils or pencil peddler
Wine --a tramp that drinks wine to fill the tine
Dehorn -- a tramp that drinks rubbing alcohol all the time
Canned Heater — a tramp that drinks Canned heat all the time
Stool — informer to the law
Bird they call the pigeon — a stool pigeon, or informer
Town Clown — the Constable
Light Flyer — a tramp that sleeps and travels with an overcoat
House Cat — a tramp that bums houses
Sally Stiff — one that eats at Salvation Army soup lines

Words Having to do With Food

Slippins — gravy-
Odds & Ends — pieces of meat hacked off by butcher-waste
Hoofs & Horns — the same as above
Toppins — dry pastry
Gold Mounted Toppins — pastry rich on top
Silver Mounted Topping — not quite so rich
Punk — bread
Dummy -- bread
Lilly White — liver sausage
Rosy Red — Bologna
High Powered Toppins — pies and all extra rich pastry
Jimok - coffee
Shep — mutton or sheepherder
Gumps — chicken
White Wash Dinner — a meal with everything thickened with flour
Doe-gods — hot cakes
Bacon Butt — bacon ends
Scoff - to have coffee
Coffee Up — to bum houses or stores for coffee
Chuck Up — to do the same thing to get food
Nickel Up — to present butcher, baker and grocer with a nickel and a story - but short!
Dime Up — same as above
Pie Card — a meal ticket
Buzz Up — to eat another tramp's food
Spider — frying pan
Gallon Canser — a tramp who carries a gallon can to cook in
Fire Irons -- Irons used to lay across cane to cook on with he fire underneath, of course


Dice Box - large merchandise box to sleep in, generally used in the east
Balloon — a tramp's bed-roll
Flop - a bed anyplace
Flop-house — a cheap hotel or rooming house Kip — a bed
Hippins — straw or something to sleep on Sugans — quilts
Grouch Bag — Bull Durham sack fastened to the tramp's belt or on a string around his neck
Gander — to look
Gape — the same thing
Cat House — house of prostitution
Biscuit — a watch
Fake — anything a tramp doesn't have a name for readily
Clink — jail
Can — jail
Bohunk — about any foreigner
Boil Up Can — usually a five gallon can to boil and wash clothes in
Shackin Up — living in a shack and bumming the community
Jingling Up — cooking, washing, etc. in the jingles
Shive — a knife
Rod — a gun
Do a Stunt — work a little for food or money
Short Stake — one day to a week's work
Factory - any building that cans or makes things
Marble Orchard — a grave yard
Sniping — looking for a cigar or cigarette snipes
Grape Up — to talk nice to law or boss
Sally — Salvation Army
Double Cross - the Red Cross
Pogie — poor-house
Benny - an overcoat
Dashboards — bib overalls
Priding the Cushions — paying the fare on a train or bus

Words Concerning the Railroad

Hog — big locomotive
Malley — big locomotive
Cushions — passenger car
Gon — gondola
Flat — flat car
Crummy — caboose
Reefer —- refrigerator car, tramps ride in ice end if there is no ice in it
Cow Wagon — cattle car Box — box car
High Iron — main line of railroad and heavier rails
Frog — the point where switch is made from inside mainline track
Fish Plate — steel plate to hold rails on ties
Hogger — the engineer
Smoke Pot — the fireman
Con — the conductor
Shack — the brakeman
Flag — the flagman
Dik - the railroad police
Hull — same as above