Definition of jackaroo in English:


(also jackeroo)


Australian, NZ
  • A young man working on a sheep or cattle station to gain experience.

    • ‘It's some years since I was last here, when I was sent to work as a teenage jackaroo on a 36,000-acre station with 30,000 sheep for company.’
    • ‘The sun is low in the sky as jackaroos on motorbikes muster a mob of weaner rams along the picturesque Egelabra lagoon.’
    • ‘But in 1960 he moved to Australia to work as a jackeroo at a sheep station in a town called Emu Springs.’
    • ‘Aides are hoping the media frenzy surrounding 19-year-old Harry will subside and confirmed he would remain at the Tooloombilla Station in Queensland state where he will learn to be a jackaroo, an Australian cowboy.’
    • ‘Stockman work with stock - animals and jackaroos are what Australian farmers are called that work on outback stations with sheep or cattle.’


Australian, NZ
  • [no object] Work as a jackaroo.

    • ‘The youth is sent to a farm to learn jackarooing, for which he has no aptitude, sleeping in the shed with rats and terrorised by a part-mad farmer's wife.’
    • ‘Coming from country Queensland, and with experience of jackarooing, Meggitt knew how to relate to Centralian cattle men, and having a hard head, could survive the days of rum drinking that were required on occasions like the picnic races.’
    • ‘I visited and I used to spend all my school holidays out there jackarooing, working on properties in the Harden district, and that gave me the real urge to go bush.’
    • ‘One does get the impression that he seemed to be searching for something, like he was always on the move a bit, from jackarooing to working in the rodeos, to chicken boning, kangaroo skinning; is that a fair assessment?’


Late 19th century: perhaps a blend of jack and kangaroo.