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90s Slang You Should Know


[kuh-boos] /kəˈbus/
a car on a freight train, used chiefly as the crew's quarters and usually attached to the rear of the train.
British. a kitchen on the deck of a ship; galley.
Slang. the buttocks.
Origin of caboose
early modern Dutch
1740-50; < early modern Dutch cabūse (Dutch kabuis) ship's galley, storeroom; compare Low German kabuus, kabüse, Middle Low German kabuse booth, shed; further origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for caboose
Historical Examples
  • Then how bright and cosy the interior of the caboose, that was now his home, seemed during the occasional visits that he paid it.

    Cab and Caboose Kirk Munroe
  • You 'tack me and I'll have you in the caboose, sure's my name's Gedney Raffer.

    Nan Sherwood at Pine Camp Annie Roe Carr
  • A boy whom I had seen busy in the caboose soon came down with a kettle of hot tea.

    Tales of the Sea W.H.G. Kingston
  • Forward is the caboose of the crew, a wide, low, but roomy erection.

    Man on the Ocean R.M. Ballantyne
  • They rode in the caboose, the small red cupola-topped car jerked along at the end of the train.

    Main Street Sinclair Lewis
  • The conductor and crew of the local freight were lounging comfortably in the caboose.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • Of kitchen utensils we were greatly in want, almost everything having been lost in the caboose when it was washed away.

    Yr Ynys Unyg Julia de Winton
  • The man addressed as “Jack” sprang alertly to the roof of the caboose.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • Once we had to ride on a special engine; and frequently the caboose of a freight train served our desperate purpose.

    T. De Witt Talmage T. De Witt Talmage
  • He was not on top of any of the cars, nor in the caboose, and must have been left behind.

    Cab and Caboose Kirk Munroe
British Dictionary definitions for caboose


(US, informal) short for calaboose
(railways, US & Canadian) a guard's van, esp one with sleeping and eating facilities for the train crew
  1. a deckhouse for a galley aboard ship or formerly in Canada, on a lumber raft
  2. (mainly Brit) the galley itself
  1. a mobile bunkhouse used by lumbermen, etc
  2. an insulated cabin on runners, equipped with a stove
Word Origin
C18: from Dutch cabūse, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for caboose

1747, "ship's cookhouse," from Middle Dutch kambuis "ship's galley," from Low German kabhuse "wooden cabin on ship's deck;" probably a compound whose elements correspond to English cabin and house (n.). Railroading sense is by 1859.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for caboose



A jail

[1860s+; prob fr calaboose, ''jail'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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