Definition of cabbage-tree mob in English:

cabbage-tree mob

(also cabbage-tree hat mob)

noun

Australian
historical
  • A gang of boisterous, often badly behaved young men, particularly in an urban area.

    ‘these youth gangs can be traced back to the cabbage-tree mobs of the 1850s’
    ‘inadequate policing of the streets enabled the cabbage-tree mob to roam at night assaulting people’
    • ‘They were constantly worried about crime and the disrespectful behaviour of Cabbage Tree Hat mobs, larrikin pushes and bodgie gangs.’
    • ‘The Cabbage Tree Mob were distinctive in their Cabbage Tree hats.’
    • ‘A gang of larrikins in Sydney in the 1870s were known as the 'Cabbage-tree Mob' because of their distinctive headgear.’
    • ‘He dates back to the cabbageites and the cabbage-tree mobs of the early nineteenth century.’
    • ‘There was a cabbage-tree mob in Sydney given to assaulting people at night and in the 1920s.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: from cabbage tree + mob. The gangs wore cabbage-tree hats as a badge of identity.