from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Australian A man who seeks casual work while traveling about carrying his swag.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An itinerant person who walks from farm to farm carrying a swag and seeking work, often in exchange for food and lodging.
- n. A fence, a middleman for transactions of stolen goods.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A bushman carrying a swag and traveling on foot; -- called also swagsman, swagger, and swaggie.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A seller of low-priced trashy goods, trinkets, etc.
- n. A man who travels in search of employment: so called because he carries his swag, or bundle of clothes, blanket, etc. Also swags-man, swagger.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an itinerant Australian laborer who carries his personal belongings in a bundle as he travels around in search of work
The existence of the swagman is the happiest vagrant's life in the world.
In any case, though I had not thought about the matter before, I guess the jolly swagman was a sheep rustler, wasn't he?
Also characteristic of swagman attire was a hat strung with corks to ward off flies.
A swagman also called tussocker is an old Australian term describing an underclass of transient temporary workers, who travelled by foot from farm to farm carrying the traditional swag.
But the swagman he up and jumped in the water hole
OH hai, LadyM…once a jolly swagman, camped by a billagong, under da shade ub a kooliba tree and he sang as sat an wayted wile his billy boiled, yull come a waltzing matilda wif me…happy to refresh da eerwurm fur ya!
Oh there once was a swagman who camped in the billabong
And the swagman he up and he jumped in the waterhole
"Once a jolly swagman, sat beside a billabong ..."
The Bushman of Bunyip Billabong tells the tale of a careless swagman, who learns his lesson for disrespecting the environment.