HOBO BAG

So I have decided to be a hobo. I have all my wordly possesions wrapped in a kerchief and tied to a stick over my shoulder. Only what do I call that piece of luggage? OK, I am going to call it ‘Fred’, but isn’t there a name for that? Like ‘billykin’ (billycan) for a cooking pot?

" Pardon mr while I have a strange interlude."-Marx (Melissa Gilbert is in the rest room right now or she would have a snappy comeback)

It’s a ‘bindle’, making you (as soon as you leave the house with it) a ‘bindlestiff’, i.e. hobo.

I’ll check the OED tonight and see. It’s probably from the same root as ‘bundle’.


Bob the Random Expert
“If we don’t have the answer, we’ll make one up.”

“So I have decided to be a hobo.”
—mr john

You’re kidding, right?
Peace,
mangeorge

Back in the 1980’s my uncle was bestowed the title of “King of the Hoboes.” (much to my fathers humiliation) I have a videotape of the interview covering this notable event, but I can’t find any reference to answer your question.

I would guess there are many words, depending on the region each hobo hails from.
My uncle started “hoboing” (that can’t be a word) in Oklahoma in the 20’s. He died a few years after aforementioned event, in Texas. Texas had been his “homebase” for most of his life.

Growing up, I can only remember vague references…“thangs”, kit, “belongin’s” (you MUST delete the g if you choose to use this one). Personally, I always liked “kit”…It sounded like something a grand wanderer would carry.

Don’t know if your ? is purely academic :wink: or not. Being a vagabond is something I inherited an appreciation for and seem to have passed on to my youngest son. Love an adventuring spirit!!


Lew
“Man, the 60’s must have been real good for you!”
George Carlin…“Outrageous Fortune”

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore”
Dorothy…“The Wizard of Oz”

BTW-if you can fit all your worldly possessions in a “kit” or “bindle”…you are already my hero.


Lew
“Man, the 60’s must have been real good for you!”
George Carlin…“Outrageous Fortune”

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore”
Dorothy…“The Wizard of Oz”

BINDLE! That’s the word. Thanx. Oh, man, you wouldn’t beleave all the stuff I have now. The 60’s WAS good to me. And ‘g’? This is Texas, no point in usin unnecesary letters. Ever hear of a ‘possibles bag’ ? Mountainman, plainsman term. Small ‘kit’ with stuff you might ‘possible need’. Extra flint, needle , steel etc. Nope, not hittin the road too old now, all stove up.Texas is a good place to go hoboing( it’s a word if its not it should be) cept in the summer. Good thing about Oklahoma is it keeps Kansas from touching Texas. Oh if anybody wants to proof read this and retype it, be my guest. I design um I don’t proof um.


" Pardon me while I have a strange interlude."-Marx (Melissa Gilbert is in the rest room right now or she would have a snappy comeback)

I’ve been wanting to travel America by freight car for the longest time. I’m afraid of the bulls. I wonder if the life still exists. I believe there is a micro-culture that runs the state and national park circuit, but they are all mobile. I use to run into the same people over and over again moving from park to park in search of work, or following the forrest fires.

sorry to be back so soon, but rjk, bindlestiff reminded me of ‘gandy dancer’ for some reason. I guess they see each other from time to time hangin round the tracks and all.
But any way i was just wondrein if anybody cides rjk has ever heard that word. And if any body knows any more words to this old chanty ( I spelled it right, it’s pronounced ‘shanty’) Cap’n caint read,
Cap’n caint write,
how’s he gonna tell,
if the track’s laid right?

          SHAKE IT! (UNH!)
          SHAKE IT! (UNH!)
          SHAKE IT ALL AROUND! (UNH!)

(Shake it all around? and you thought it was a rocknroll riff)
Shake that money maker,
shake it all around.
Shake that money maker,
all around the town.
Well they were singin bout somethin else there.

Not really answering the question, but it relates to the drift of the thread. Some mention of Texas as a friend of those who ride the rails. Memory: 1970, a friend and I decided to hitchhike around the country. One night we wound up on some highway ~20 miles outside of Amarillo, TX and decided to bed down on the ground about halfway between the highway and a railroad line. Flat ground, only scrubs around. Anyway, I was awakened at first light (~6 AM) by the (and I don’t know the correct word - I never did get into riding trains) caboose guy from a freight train that was stopped on the tracks. He was letting my friend and I know that they were there; and did we want to get aboard?

DrJ–
“Thanks for the memories”–it’s been a long time. I know I could “get your goat” if I told you my Texas experiences are primarily from Fort Worth and Lubbock. My mother was born in “Miama” Texas (Miami is for Floridians) and I grew up doing such things as “puttin’ the braid own the table”. I must confess, however, since I was an Air Force brat, I really don’t know WHERE most of my speech patterns came from. No matter where I lived b/4 I was 12, people thought I talked funny.
Had forgotten about the “possibles bag”, I , vaguely, remember it-I know, as travelers, we were always thinkin’ uh whut we myt possible need.
Anyway…Sorry yore all stove up, though I’m shore y’aint bawlin’ yer eyes out ov’rit. Take ye’seff a remdy and commence a fuhgettin’ rat-cheer. :smiley:


Lew
“Man, the 60’s must have been real good for you!”
George Carlin…“Outrageous Fortune”

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore”
Dorothy…“The Wizard of Oz”

Dad Blamit!!–I know–it should have been mrj…Beg pardon.


Lew
“Man, the 60’s must have been real good for you!”
George Carlin…“Outrageous Fortune”

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore”
Dorothy…“The Wizard of Oz”

O.K, here’s me, hoboin’
Credit card and ATM card in pocket.

Audi A6 Quatro under my ass. Or, if I must train, Railpass in hand.

Reservations at Hilton made.

One of them soft, wheeled suitcases filled with Levi’s and t-shirts.

Maybe a Powerbook G3, with all the bells & whistles.

Some babe.

Unlimited time.

Ah, the simple life. :slight_smile:
Peace,
mangeorge

Shoot fahr! this train ,er thread is wanderin’ round right good. I see a few hobos on the trains still. (" The trains don’t stop here anymore") Never ‘rode the rods’ hitched some, BTW grew up in Amarillo,( nuthin tween Amarillo and the North Pole but a 3 strand bob wire fence and some dern fool left the gate open.), bet it was hard to catch a freight on the plains no hills or curves to slow the train,any way from what I hear the life is a lot crueler now, not that it was ever easy, but its the other people in it now that are dangerous.
Lew , I was known as Reverend John for a while in the 70’s, legit, or legal any way . Church of Universal Life, did some marriages, some still going strong, and didn’t have to wear olive drab. I know where Miami is, wonder if any of these folks can pronounce Mexia?

Beatle that was likely the conductor or brakeman.Prob the conductor,he is the boss of a train not the engineer Engineer just drives…Back then they had an engineer, fireman (on a diesel),and switchman in the enine and the conductor and brakeman in the caboose.Sometimes there were other swichmen too. Now a days they got an engineer and conductor up front and NO caboose up. SIGH Don’t even know if those are the titles any more ‘operator and falicitator’.

I thought it was called a Waltzin’ Matilda, like the song. Other hobo terms from that song:
swagman = a hobo
billy = a can for boiling water
tucker bag = a bag for holding food
billabong = a pool of deep water

MG - I like the way you hobo.

Mexia - mu HAY uh
(only in Texas)

Now for real Ft. Worth trivia - what is Rio Vista know for and how do you pronounce it?

Lew - when did you live in Ft. Worth?

I believe that a swagman/hobo picks up his swag/kit/bindlestiff, and waltzs matilda (verb) around the countryside, that’s how an Aussie explained it to me,
Larry

Actually,that’s utterly wrong. It’s a good thing for Oklahoma as it keeps texas from touching Kansas. :). Anyone who lives in states that matter, not texas, thats the way it should be worded.

Oh and when i was 8, my family and I went to Kansas and back to California by Motor Home. My that was an interesting experience. We went through California, Arizona, New mexico, Colorado, then Kansas, Back through Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and then back to California.


“Let me show you something
that you’ve never seen before
like a light im gonna shine on you
forever is a word i dont often get to say
but if you say it loud enough i’ll say it too”

SHOOOOOWEEE! This has turned into a most interestin thread.
Zyada; Don’t know nuthin bout Rio Vista. When I moved from the real Texas to Dalls (after a one year aberition in NM), I wasn’t allowed to think about Foatwuth no more. I guess ‘rye-oh vista’ which we make up for with rodeeo sted of rodayo which sounds affected any way.
Now you folks that have the misfortune of not bein born right, or at least havin the good sense to move right say “Bexar”.( Southwesterners, stay outa that one for a while.)
Doobie here’s for you, An old weather saying: “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait a few minutes.” Which leads to; " Thar’s only two kindsa folks try tuh predict the weather in Texas, Damn fools and newcomers." To which a person from a ‘state that matters’ (if he is clever) answers “That’s because that’s the only kind of people there are in Texas.” See we can take it too, we know yaller just jealouse. " Never ask a man if he is from Texas, if he is he will tell you ,if he aint don’t embarass the poor man." mmmmm where’s spel chek when ya need it? BTW I actuall got a real gandy pole in the yard if inybuddy wanta dayunce.

[[sorry to be back so soon, but rjk, bindlestiff reminded me of ‘gandy dancer’ for some reason. I guess they see each other from time to time hangin round the tracks and all.
But any way i was just wondrein if anybody cides rjk has ever heard that word. ]] mr john
Dunno the derivation offhand, but “gandy dancer” is slang for a section worker on a railway.