Shearers’ Slang

The shearer is part of a team that travells from property to property shearing sheep and preparing the wool for market. Most shearers are paid per sheep shorn.

Visiting the Shear Outback: The Australian Shearer’s Hall of Fame you’ll see the historic Murray Downs Shed; meet the Shearer and experience the sights and sounds of a working wool shed. It’s located in Hay NSW. The city plays host to the Festival of the Blades (shearing) in April each year.

See also  Australian Songs About Shearers and Shepherds

Babbling Brook Cook (rhyming slang)
Blue-tongue Young shed-hands, so named because they were accused of spending most of their time catching flies.
Bully Belt Leather belt used to take the sharpness off (bully) the comb points
Clip All the wool from a flock
Ducks on the pond A warning shearers yell out in the shed to stop the swearing when a lady enters.
Dungas / Dungarees Shearing pants, often with double thickness of material in the front and lower back of the leg.
Ewe Female sheep capable of producing lambs
Flea Taxi Sheep dog
Greasy Shearer
Gun Shearer Professional shearers who shear 200 merino or 400 crossbreds a day.
Guesser Wool classer. Person who is in charge of grouping fleece into categories such as length, thickness, quality, colour, strength, eleanliness. More info.
Jacky Howe Navy or black sleeveless singlet cut from under the arms to almost the waist to move freely while shearing. Named for Jacky Howe who in the 1890’s held a world shearing record of hand-shearing 321 sheep in 7 hours 40 minutes at Alice Downs, Queensland.
Jumbuck Sheep.
Lounge-about Young shed-hand boys
Mad Eight Eight men who in 1923 using hand shears, shore 18,000 sheep in a fortnight at Williambury Station
Mockys Shearers shoes (moccasins)
Monkeys Eyebrows Short wool shorn from lambs
Pony Boy Young assistant who carried the fleece to the classing table
Plum Jams Lambs (rhyming slang)
Ram Uncastrated male sheep
Ringer Fastest shearer in the shed
Rousy Rousabout. Shedhands who pick up the fleece after the sheep is shorn.
Sheep O More sheep needed in the catching pen
Shepherd Farmer or stockperson who takes care of the sheep when they’re in the pasture.
Snagger Shearer
Wethers Castrated male sheep

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