Origin of "hobo" (1888); "Hot dog" and "pants" (1870, 1886)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Jun 27 05:49:32 UTC 2006

A re-check.
14 September 1888, The Morning Oregonian, pg. 8, col. 2:
_A Password Formerly Used by the Tramps--Its_
"What is new to-day?"
This question was asked Police Captain Cardwell yesterday by a  reporter.
"A couple of 'hoboes' have just been brought in. I see by your puzzled look
you do not understand what a hobo is. I will tell you what we mean by the
term.  It is a word used to classify all tramps and vags. The word first
originated  with the Independent Order of tramps, and was used by them as a sort of
password. One tramp walking along the street seeing another whom by his general
appearance he thinks belongs to the order says 'hobo.' If the party thus
addressed recognizes the word, he stops and an acquaintance is struck up. Again,
this tramp walking alongside a lot of freight cars tops at one in which he
thinks there is a brother and repeats the magic word. It is a sesame and if
this  surmise is correct, the car door is drawn back and the man outside is
received  within.
"From this specific use of the word has come the general term 'hobo,' which
is applied to the vagabond beggar as well as the tramp."
30 November 1888, The Morning Oregonian, pg. 2, col. 5:
People falling sick in China, if they have friends, are given the best of
care, but those who there assume the role of a tramp or hobo in this country are
 given no sympathy.
Just a re-check.
17 September 1870, Ohio Farmer, pg. 605:
What's the difference between a chilly man and a hot dog? One wears a great
coat, and the other _pants_.
5 July 1886, Syracuse (NY) Standard, pg. 3, col. 2:
Making pants for a hot dog is a business that few tailors care to engage
in.--_Hartford Sunday Journal._

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