American hobo terms
In addition to words that have entered into the vernacular from American hobo terminology—big house, bindlestiff, moniker, cooties, main drag, glad rags, flop, punk—there are others that deserve an appreciative nod and a smile.
Elevated – being stoned or drunk
Grease the track – to be run over by a train
Cow crate – a railroad stock car
Bone orchard – a cemetery
Tokay blanket – drinking alcohol to stay warm
Sky pilot – a preacher
Stemming – panhandling
Boil up – to get oneself as clean as possible
Flip (also On the fly) – to catch a moving train
Doggin’ it – taking the (Greyhound) bus
Rum dum – a drunk
Meave – a young girl hobo
Blowed-in-the-glass – a trustworthy person
California blankets — newspapers
Catch the westbound – to die
And hobos even addressed each other as ‘bo, just one r short of today’s affectionate fraternal greeting.
One thought on “Road Poets”
I really enjoy your eclectic posts, John.