Etymology
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hobo (n.)

"a tramp," 1889, Western U.S., of unknown origin. Barnhart compares early 19c. English dialectal hawbuck "lout, clumsy fellow, country bumpkin." Or possibly from ho, boy, a workers' call on late 19c. western U.S. railroads. Facetious formation hobohemia, "community or life of hobos," is from 1923 (see bohemian).

updated on July 30, 2015

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Definitions of hobo from WordNet

hobo (n.)
a vagrant;
Synonyms: tramp / bum
hobo (n.)
a worker who moves around and works temporarily in different places;
Synonyms: migrant worker
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.