One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An unskilled labourer or odd jobber on a farm, especially in a shearing shed.
worker, factory worker, manual worker, unskilled worker, blue-collar worker, workman, workwoman, workperson, working man, labourer, operative, hired hand, hireling, roustabout, employee, artisanView synonyms
- ‘They were local youth without permanent employment, who rotate from local casual jobs, rouseabouts, working in supermarket, pub.’
- ‘He was probably about 12-14 years old, and presumably acted as horse-tailer and as general rouseabout while in camp.’
Mid 19th century: originally dialect in the sense ‘rough bustling person’, from the verb rouse.
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