from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A man who seeks casual work while traveling about carrying his swag.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A seller of low-priced trashy goods, trinkets, etc.
  • noun A man who travels in search of employment: so called because he carries his swag, or bundle of clothes, blanket, etc. Also swags-man, swagger.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A bushman carrying a swag and traveling on foot; -- called also swagsman, swagger, and swaggie.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Australia, historical An itinerant person who walks from farm to farm carrying a swag and seeking work, often in exchange for food and lodging.
  • noun US, slang A fence, a middleman for transactions of stolen goods.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an itinerant Australian laborer who carries his personal belongings in a bundle as he travels around in search of work


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From swag +‎ man; Australian sense from 1869.


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  • Australia/New Zealand: a man who travels with a swag or bedroll. See also waltzing matilda.

    Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong

    Under the shade of a coolibah tree.

    --A.B. Paterson, "Waltzing Matilda"

    Edit: Another usage on bluey.

    February 7, 2007