Gay Hobo SlangPosted: February 27, 2015
At Helytimes we love to get submissions for our roving correspondents. Longtime friend of the blog Mat W. sends in this item:
A good many years ago, I was a pretty faithful reader of Alex Ross’s blog The Rest Is Noise (title later cannibalized for his book, which got him a MacArthur Genius Grant). In those days I had a pretty boring job and would read almost anything on the internet that made it through the security filter of the company where I worked. A lot of what Ross had to say made little sense since I didn’t (and still don’t) know much about music, but I would still skim the posts and found a few good bits and bobs.
One day, I came across this post:
http://www.therestisnoise.com/2004/10/interesting_pie.html“Gay hobo subculture”!? WHA?! Of course long-time readers of Hely Times may recall Smokestack Adrian, but I was intrigued. At the time, searches of the internet didn’t turn up much. I did learn a little bit more about it in George Chauncey’s great Gay New York, but it offers a pretty light treatment, though the subject of the book, I suppose, required only a glancing discussion.
However, I recently found a great book, called Gay Talk: A (Sometimes Outrageous) Dictionary of Gay Slang. It’s by a guy named Bruce Rodgers, and was published in 1972 (under a different title, I believe). It is GREAT and really reaches back into the pre-Stonewall era for lots of verbal treasures. Guess what a Veronica’s Veil is, you guys!
AND while paging through I found a whole entry on the hobo! Rather than type up the highlights, I’ll just include a picture of the entry for all you candy kids out there.