minor antedating of "Hobo" (1888)

Sam Clements sclements at NEO.RR.COM
Fri Sep 12 01:55:16 UTC 2003

RHDAS has 1889 as the only verifiable cite.  They have a 'ca.1885' cite
which may or may not be the word.  OED uses 1889, as does MW(I think).

Using ancestry.com, "Hobo" can now be cited to the Mitchell Daily
Republican(SD) from October 5, 1888, page 1(I think).

    [ Grand Forks, Dak., Oct. 5.---A reward of $250 has been offered for
evidence that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the alleged "tramp"
or "hobo" who killed George Fulljames(sp?) in a prize fight Sept. 2 in this

One interesting thing here might be that the word "hobo" wasn't capitalized.
Also interesting is it is another Western US cite.  And this cite dovetails
nicely with the 1889 RHDAS cite which mentions that tramp and hobo are the

I searched ancestry.com for more" HOBO + XXXX"  combinations than you can
imagine from 1880-1888.  Nada.

Looked for "Ho-boy" and "haut boy" from 1856-1888.  Nada.

The only other interesting cite was from 1894 which mentioned hobos in a
mining strike "war" in Colorado.  The interesting thing was that the cite
said that many of the hobos were "graders" for the railroad, which again
dovetails with an 1893 RHDAS cite.

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