More Shearing Terms

Newsletter #48 (November 2011) contained an article about shearers. Here are some more terms used by shearers:

Baitlayer: Shearers’ cook, also known as “babbling brook” or “water burner”.
Bluey: Bundle of possessions (usually wrapped in a blanket), swag, or matilda, as in “humping your bluey”, meaning to carry your bundle of possessions in search of your next job.
Classer: The person who grades the fleeces according to their quality.
Cobbler: A sheep which is difficult to shear, sometimes left until last.
Cocky: A farmer.
Cut-out: When shearing at a particular shed has been completed, eg. “I’m heading for town after cut-out.”
Darling shower
: A dust storm that fills the wool on sheep with sand.
Ducks on the pond: A warning to shearers that women are approaching the shed.
Hughie: Mythical figure called upon to send rain, as in “Send ‘er down, Hughie.”
Jumbuck: A sheep.
Muster: Assemble sheep into a mob, preparatory to shearing, dipping, etc.
Pink: To shear so closely that the pink skin of a healthy hide shows through.
Press: The apparatus for compressing wool into a bale.
Rouseabout: A rural handyman or general-purpose worker.
Stand: The space where a shearer works in a shearing shed.
: A farming property.
Swaggie: An itinerant worker carrying his swag.
Tally: Number of sheep shorn by a particular shearer over a certain time.

Steam engine (at Kinchega Station) used for driving shears:


About dazzlerplus

Writing about the things that interest me helps me to discover what I think. One of my loves is the Australian Outback, and I travel out there often, and when possible take friends with me.
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One Response to More Shearing Terms

  1. roobark says:

    Well, BD, you encouraged me to look up more shearing terms on Wiki and I found one which surprised me (although it might be well known to others). And that was ‘bellwether’. As I listened to Anthony Green each election night, I fancied the ‘bellweather’ (sic) seat was the one which gave an idea of which way the electoral wind was blowing. That is largely because I had never seen it written, so was ignorant of the spelling. It also made some sense. But not so. A ‘bellwether’ is a wether considered to be a good leader of the flock, and thus a bell is placed around his neck so the shepherd can hear where the flock is. (By the way, it is snowing on my comments.)

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