Jack + kangaroo.
Also Jackeroo".A young man living as an apprentice on a sheep station, or otherwise engaged in acquainting himself with colonial life. [Colloq., Australia]
To be a jackaroo; to pass one's time as a jackaroo. [Colloq., Australia]
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Obscure. Possibly from an Aboriginal term meaning ‘wandering white man’.
jackaroo (plural jackaroos) (Australia, Queensland, obsolete) A white man living outside white settlement. (Australia) A trainee station manager or owner, working as a stockman or farm hand; formerly, a young man of independent means working at a station in a supernumerary capacity to gain experience. 1895, A. B. Paterson, Saltbush Bill, The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses, page 37, But this is the tale of a Jackaroo that came from a foreign strand, / And the fight that he fought with Saltbush Bill, the King of the Overland. 1964, Russel Braddock Ward, The Penguin Book of Australian Ballads, page 86, A Jackeroo lived, as a kind of gentleman apprentice, in the squatter′s or manager′s homestead, not in the men′s huts; but most of his daily work was done side by side with the working ‘hands’. 1974, The Pastoral Review, Volume 84, page 611, Frequently the overseer would come to me and say a certain jackeroo was useless, and would never be any good, when the boy had only just started.
jackaroo (third-person singular simple present jackaroos, present participle jackarooing, simple past and past participle jackarooed) (intransitive) To work as a jackaroo. Bill has gone jackarooing out west.
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