- a person or thing that bushwhacks.
- (in the American Civil War) a guerrilla, especially a Confederate.
- any guerrilla or outlaw.
- Australian Slang. an unsophisticated person; hick.
Origin of bushwhacker
- US, Canadian and Australian a person who travels around or lives in thinly populated woodlands
- Australian informal an unsophisticated person; boor
- a Confederate guerrilla during the American Civil War
- US any guerrilla
- NZ a person who works in the bush, esp at timber felling
Word Origin and History for bushwhacker
also bush-whacker, 1809, American English, literally "one who beats the bushes" (to make his way through), perhaps modeled on Dutch bosch-wachter "forest keeper;" see bush (n.) + whack (v.). In American Civil War, "irregular who took to the woods" (1862), variously regarded as patriot guerillas or as freebooters. Hence bushwhack (v.), 1837; bushwhacking (1826).