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Alternative forms[edit]




roustabout (plural roustabouts)

  1. (chiefly US) an unskilled laborer, especially at an oilfield, at a circus or on a ship, 19th c.
    • 1922, Sinclair Lewis, “14”, in Babbitt:
      The U. is my own Alma Mater, and I am proud to be known as an alumni, but there are certain instructors there who seem to think we ought to turn the conduct of the nation over to hoboes and roustabouts.
    • 1961, Robert Fitzgerald (translator), Homer, Odyssey, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Book Eleven, 668-9,
      Then Sísiphos in torment I beheld / being roustabout to a tremendous boulder.
    • 1974, Saul Bellow, "Him with His Foot in His Mouth" in Collected Stories, Penguin, 2001, p. 377,
      Brooklyn Tony, who had run away from home to be a circus roustabout, became a poster artist and eventually an Abstract Expressionist.
    • 2013, Celeste Headlee, NPR, 7 January, 2013, [1]
      She works in McGregor, North Dakota as a roustabout pusher. That means she and her crew help fix and maintain the drilling sites.
    See also quotations under rouseabout.


Further reading[edit]