Grant O'Neil (oneig@SEA.WA.EDU.AU)
Tue, 2 Apr 1996 10:01:00 PST
>Enjoyed the story and Trivia, but, My wife wants to know what a Swagman is?
A swagman is an itinerant traveller, a "hobo" I guess you'd call him. The
name comes from the "Swag" or blanket roll they carried; typically this
would consist of several blankets, usually rather patched and threadbare,
rolled up with any other personal belongings inside and tied with pieces of
string. Usually a length of rope or old towel or belt would serve as a strap
and it would be carried slung over the shoulder. Food would be carried in
the "Billy" (an improvised cooking pot made from a tin can with a wire
handle) and "tucker bags" (Tucker is Australian slang for food) which were
generally old cotton flour bags. Another trademark of the "swaggie" was his
hat with the brim ringed with corks on pieces of string - the movement of
these corks would shoo away flies from the face.
I can see I may have to get in the habit of including a glossary of
Australian terms with a lot of my postings...
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City