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What is a Hobo?
Definition
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HOBO

Introduction by Andy HoboTraveler.com

Hobo

Hoboes is a name coined for men and women, but almost exclusive men that travel as migrant workers or left their friends and family in the depression or after wars when there was no work for them in their home cities. They either in many ways left to go look for a job or just to avoid the stress and strains of life in a family where they could no support their families because there was no jobs. They would maybe jump on a train, and ride in a boxcar to the next city to find a temporary job where they was building a large building, or some other temporary job like picking strawberries for the season.

Hoboes do not like to be labeled or to have people talk for them, they are an independent lot and they really do not fit into an categories. The ones that actually call themselves Hoboes have a sort of code of the road that they adhere to or are aware of, and this code is some ways enforced or not enforced. The Hobo is penniless and poor, and lives by his or her wits from a day to day existence and the future is not important because they have to normally make the cheap choice, and not the best choice. They are pragmatic and accept the reality that they are not rich and they must accept the way they must travel from place to place.

There is a love of Hoboes for the trains. Train hopping is almost synonymous with being a Hobo and although there is no hard cored connection that says a Hobo must travel by train, it is the customary or common way for a Hobo to travel. In the early years of transportation in the USA the easiest, quickest, and most convenient way to travel was by rail so there became a Hobo culture that had its community centered around the trains and living close to the railway. They would set up camps close to train tracks and live in these camps waiting for the next train, or working at a local job, and ready to leave whenever they heard the sound of the train whistle.

Life for the Hobo was harsh, and brutal in many ways, it was not the life for the weak of will, or the person that could not tolerate some bad conditions. They did what they had to do to survive and this was not always the best of ways. A Hobo was in many ways a good family man that ran astray and did not know how to compete in the world of normal jobs, and especially when the ravages of war or the depression took away their jobs, and threw them into the road. So there is a resourcefulness to the idea of being a Hobo that says you will survive by doing what you have to do.

Hoboes were both loved and hated by people. Maybe there is the "but for the grace of God, there goes I" mentality, and back to the basic idea of human nature. People take care of each other in the end. If the time really get bad, and there is a common bound of misery, or poverty people can share, but they can also be cruel and mean. Life is not always so good for the Hobo, you do not just fit in like the rest of the people, and how do you ever get up to normal standards of the community by getting a good shower, a clean bed and cloths when you are living in boxcars or traveling for days, and the last meal you had was not remembered clearly.

Hobo is almost exclusively used by the American culture and small amounts by the British, Australian, or New Zealand cultures. Basically it is an American originated word and adopted or utilized by other English speaking countries. It is part of Americana and the world of being a rag muffin immigrant land where people had traveled to for the dream of golden streets, and land of plenty, but there was not always a way to live. The American dream although not achieved by the Hobo, was still professed, and understood at it more essential end. Being a Hobo in America was about the ability to claim the American dream in the end by saying,

I be Hobo, I be FREE

So the love of freedom and the wonder or wanderlust of the Hobo as led them to explore the places the rest of the world did not go and often did not want to go, but also help them to understand real freedom.

I did no justice to the Hobo, and I am just a traveler without a home. I appreciate their free spirit, but also understand the loneliness, and possibly the life of a Hobo with no future. There are lot of Hoboes in the world that neither can return to their homes, do not remember how to return home, and when they do return, find they must leave for the road calls, and they only feel complete when they are traveling.

Andy HoboTraveler.com March 14, 2004 - Mongolia

OTHER EXPLANATIONS:

HOBO
- hobo hoboes hobos hoboing
One who wanders randomly from place to place looking for temporary homes, and jobs.
Origination Unknown, but is folkloric now.
In the depression people would go to other cities to get, or search for a job. by traveling in the cheapest way they could. Example: Jump in a train car.  They seem to "Never go home" again. Like the life of the wanderer, or rover.

QUOTE
A Hobo is a person that travels to work.
A tramp is a person that travels and won't work.
A bum is a person that will neither travel or work.

WORDS THAT HELP YOU TO UNDERSTAND THE WORD HOBO

LINK TO HOBO DEFINITIONS
Theamericanhobo.com
2ndarmoredhellonwheels.com
Hobo.com/what_is.htm
Worldpath.net/~minstrel/index.html
Hobo.org  Please write Andy... me. Webmaster. This is strange
Hobo.org/whatis.html
http://www.2ndarmoredhellonwheels.com/hobo-jungle.html

HOBO SITES
A hobo in a sailboat
http://www.hobo.itgo.com/
Northbankfred.com/

HOBO SONGS

HOBO QUOTES

FAMOUS PERSONS RELATED TO HOBOES
Jack London
http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/London/Writings/TheRoad/

BOOKS ON HOBOES
Snowcrest.net/bndlstif/books.html

CODE OF THE ROAD
Hobo.com/Roadrules.htm

HANDBOOK:
Xroads.virginia.edu  Look at!

HOBO MOVIES
http://www.hobo.com/hobo%20movies.htm 

HOBO MAGAZINE
http://www.hobomagazine.com

HOBO NEWSLETTER
This is a real train hoppers newsletter send email to:
train-hoppers-subscribeATnw.com

SIGNS LEFT BY HOBO'S
musespace.com
slackaction.com

SIGNS TO HELP THEM COMMUNICATE
http://www.slackaction.com
http://www.worldpath.net
http://www.musespace.com
http://www.angelfire.com
http://home.surewest.net
http://www.epcc.edu/ftp/Homes/monicaw/borderlands/12_hobo_sign_language.htm

TERMS OR HOBO SLANG
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA01/White/anthology/glossary.html
http://www.angelfire.com/folk/famoustramp/terminology.html 

REQUEST FOR THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF LINKS:
SUBMIT AT BOTTOM OF PAGE PLEASE !!!!

1. Hobo pictures
2. Norman Rockwell links to pictures
3. Information on the "Littlest hobo", a traveling dog show in 1970's
4. Author Dick Whittington - English Classic (Guy came to London to make his fortune.
5. Red Skelton
6. The word HOBO in other languages:
Italian: Vagabondo, or Giramondo
7. Links to hobos.
8. The Littlest Hobo - Television show about a dog.
THE LITTLEST HOBO
Well, here' s what I've learned about the Little Hobo:
The Littlest Hobo was a long running Canadian TV series about the
adventures of
a dog named "London". The series ran from 1963-65 and then was remade into
another series in 1979-85.
Here's a good Web site about it:
http://www.members.tripod.com/kevinmccorrytv/hobo.html

Here's a short excerpt about the show and the dog:
The Littlest Hobo follows the adventures of a highly intelligent German
shepherd named London, who wanders the country, befriending people in trouble and helping to remedy their situation. He then declines their offer to adopt him as a pet, leaves them, and continues his hobo life. Among the names given to London by his human friends are Smoke, Einstein, Scout, Mr. Magic, Lucky, Shadow, Buddy, Slapshot, Roamer, Crusoe, Ulysses, Hercules, Sinbad, and Gulliver.

Looking at the Web site, it looks to me as if the dog that played London was a Alaskan Malamute - German shepherd cross or some other combination, not pure GSD.

Hope you enjoy the results of my research tonight! I should add a link to the Little Hobo web site under my Dog Heroes category!

Barbara / WorkingDogWeb.com  Feb 24, 20001


DEFINITIONS - TERMS AND RELATED WORDS:

BUM:
* A tramp; vagrant.
* One who seeks to live off others.
* To live or acquire by begging and scavenging.
* To loaf.
[Possibly from German Bummler, loafer.]

BUMMING A RIDE: hitchhiking

CADGE:
To beg or get by begging.
[From Middle English cadgear, peddler.]

CORSAIR:
Etymology: Middle French & Old Italian; Middle French corsaire pirate, from Old Provençal corsari, from Old Italian corsaro, from Medieval Latin cursarius, from Latin cursus course- more at course
: pirate; especially : a privateer of the Barbary Coast

GYPSY:
1 : a member of a traditionally itinerant people who originated in northern India and now live chiefly in south and southwest Asia, Europe, and No. America
2 : romany 2
3 not capitalized : one that resembles a Gypsy; especially : wanderer

HITCHHIKING - To solicit a ride in a car by placing your thumb out.

KING OF THE ROAD
Song title, referring to a hobo
King of the Road - A Song by Roger Miller
My parents used to play this song on the new stereo in the house when I was young.
The reason my email is hoboontheroad! at yahoo.com... hehehe

PRIVATEER:
: an armed private ship licensed to attack enemy shipping; also : a sailor on such a ship

WANDERER:
1. travel without a destination: to move from place to place, either without a purpose or without a known destination
They wander the countryside looking for work.

2. leave a fixed path: to stray from a particular course
Don’t wander far from the path.

3. daydream: to lose the ability to concentrate on or listen to a particular thing
My mind was wandering.

4. take a curving path: to follow a winding course
The river wandered through the meadows.

5. stroll somewhere: to go somewhere at a leisurely pace

6. fail to think or speak clearly: to lose the ability to think, speak, or write in an organized and coherent way

n (plural wan·ders)
aimless stroll: an aimless or leisurely moving from place to place

[Old English wandrian , from a prehistoric Germanic word meaning “turn,” which also produced English wand]

FOLKLORE:
The traditional beliefs, legends, and practices of a people, passed down orally.

RUBBER TRAMPS - A hobo maybe that gets on a bus more than a train

TRAMP:
* One who travels aimlessly about; vagrant.
*  To travel on foot; hike.
*  A walking trip.
* A cargo vessel that has no regular schedule but takes on freight whenever it can.
[From Middle Low German trampen.]

TRAVEL:
* To go from one place to another; journey.
* To advance or proceed.
* To move swiftly.
* The act of traveling.
[From Old French travailler, to toil.]

TRAVELER OR TRAVELLER
The person that travels

TRAVELS
* A series of journeys.

VAGABOND:
* A person without a permanent home who moves from place to place; wanderer.
* A tramp; vagrant.
[From Late Latin vagÂłbundus, wandering.]

VAGRANT:
* One who wanders from place to place without a permanent home or livelihood.
* One who lives on the streets and constitutes a public nuisance.
* Wandering from place to place; roving.
* Moving in a random fashion.
[Probably from Old French wacrer, wander, of Germanic origin.]

Vagabondo - Giramondo -  Italian possible translation of Hobo