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Alternative forms[edit]


Obscure. Possibly from an Aboriginal term meaning ‘wandering white man’.


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jackaroo (plural jackaroos)

  1. (Australia, Queensland, obsolete) A white man living outside of a white settlement.
  2. (Australia) A trainee station manager or owner, working as a stockman or farm hand; formerly, a young man of independent means working at a station in a supernumerary capacity to gain experience.
    • 1895, A. B. Paterson, Saltbush Bill, The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses, page 37,
      But this is the tale of a Jackaroo that came from a foreign strand, / And the fight that he fought with Saltbush Bill, the King of the Overland.
    • 1964, Russel Braddock Ward, The Penguin Book of Australian Ballads, page 86,
      A Jackeroo lived, as a kind of gentleman apprentice, in the squatter′s or manager′s homestead, not in the men′s huts; but most of his daily work was done side by side with the working ‘hands’.
    • 1974, The Pastoral Review, Volume 84, page 611,
      Frequently the overseer would come to me and say a certain jackeroo was useless, and would never be any good, when the boy had only just started.

Coordinate terms[edit]


jackaroo (third-person singular simple present jackaroos, present participle jackarooing, simple past and past participle jackarooed)

  1. (intransitive) To work as a jackaroo.
    Bill has gone jackarooing out west.

Derived terms[edit]