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90s Slang You Should Know


[swag-muh n] /ˈswæg mən/
noun, plural swagmen. Australian.
a tramp, hobo, or vagabond.
anyone who carries a swag while traveling, as a camper or prospector.
Origin of swagman
First recorded in 1875-80; swag2 + -man Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for swagman
Historical Examples
  • 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 Henry Lawson
  • The swagman turned slowly and regarded cabby with a quiet grin.

    While the Billy Boils 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 Mary Grant Bruce
  • A swagman who has important private business with me is a rara avis.

  • The Western train had just arrived at Redfern railway station with a lot of ordinary passengers and one swagman.

    While the Billy Boils Henry Lawson
  • The existence of the swagman is the happiest vagrant's life in the world.

    Tramping on Life Harry Kemp
  • At Coongarrie I gave a swagman a lift, and he helped me with the camels and loads, until at last Coolgardie was reached.

    Spinifex and Sand David W Carnegie
  • Well, the only thing left to tell you is where the swagman came in.

    A Little Bush Maid Mary Grant Bruce
  • The trouble was that he couldn't make up his mind whether to be a Traveller or a swagman.

    The Magic Pudding Norman Lindsay
  • A swagman had happened to call at the station that morning; he asked for work and then for tucker.

    Children of the Bush Henry Lawson
British Dictionary definitions for swagman


/ˈswæɡˌmæn; -mən/
noun (pl) -men
(Austral & NZ, informal) a labourer who carries his personal possessions in a pack or swag while travelling about in search of work; vagrant worker Also called swagger, swaggie
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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