Jacky Howe

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Alternative forms[edit]


After the gun shearer John Robert (“Jacky” or “Jackie”) Howe, who in 1890 set a long-standing world record by shearing 321 sheep in 7 hours 40 minutes. He is said to have worn a shirt with the sleeves cut off.


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Jacky Howe (plural Jacky Howes)

  1. (Australia) A type of blue sleeveless shirt worn by sheep shearers and labourers.
    • 1941, Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Queensland Agricultural Journal[1], volume 56, page 171:
      Still, no one has ever thought before of associating a papaw with a “Jacky Howe,” or, say, fruit salad with a flannel shirt.
    • 1949, Ruth Park, Poor Man's Orange, in 2010, The Harp in the South Trilogy, Penguin, unnumbered page,
      He had finished his tea and was sitting in his Jackie Howe, which is a singlet with the sleeves out of it, and called after a famous shearer of the blade days.
    • 1990, Bianka Vidonya Balanzategui, Gentlemen of the Flashing Blade[2], page 28:
      As the Jacky Howe was identified with the canecutter so too were the canvas sandshoes which were worn till the canvas rotted.
    • 1996, David Foster, The Glade within the Grove[3], page 58:
      The coppers tell me that whenever they pull the old curmudgeon over — and he′s still driving a B-Model Mack well into his eighties — all he would ever be wearing was a Jacky Howe singlet* and a pair of jocks.
    • 2002, Kerry McGinnis, Heart Country, unnumbered page,
      Men in shorts and navy Jacky Howe singlets were building a causeway across the spill of swift, shallow water.
    • 2010, Roger K. A. Allen, Ballina Boy: A Child's Odyssey through the 1950s[4], page 194:
      Occasionally I would see their innards revealed by a gang of men in Jackie Howes with jack-hammers and chinking mattocks picked[sic] the sleepers clean of ballast like bull ants cleaning up a fish′s frame.