The word jackeroo was originally a Queensland term referring to a white man who lived beyond the bounds of close settlement. Later, a jackeroo was 'a young man (frequently English and of independent means) seeking to gain experience by working in a supernumerary capacity on a sheep or cattle station'. A jackeroo is now 'a person working on such a station with a view to acquiring the practical experience and management skills desirable in a station owner or manager'. The word can also be used as a verb, meaning 'to work as a jackeroo'. The term jilleroo is used for a female jackeroo. In 1895 A. Meston in Geographic History of Queensland proposed an Aboriginal origin for the term: Another word used throughout Australia is jackeroo, the term for a 'newchum', or recent arrival, who is acquiring his first colonial experience on a sheep or cattle station. It gas a good-natured, somewhat sarcastic meaning, free from all offensive significance. It is generally used for young fellows during their first year or two of station life. The origin of the word is now given for the first time. It dates back to 1838, the year the German missionaries arrived on the Brisbane River, and was the name bestowed upon them by the aboriginals. The Brisbane blacks spoke a dialect called 'Churrabool', in which the word 'jackeroo' or 'tchaceroo' was the name of the pied crow shrike, Stripera graculina, one of the noisiest and most garrulous birds in Australia. The blacks said the white men (the missionaries) were always talking, a gabbling race, and so they called them 'jackeroo', equivalent to our word 'gabblers'. The etymology proposed by Meston appears to be without foundation. There is no confirmatory evidence of a bird name tchaceroo in the Brisbane language, or of anything like this being applied to missionaries. Is it possible that the term has an English origin? The personal name Jack is often used in contexts of manual work (e.g. a device for lifting heavy objects) and appears in such idioms as a jack of all trades. This perhaps fits the later meanings of jackeroo, but unfortunately it does not explain the original Queensland meaning. In 1875 Campbell & Wilks in The Early Settlement of Queensland write: A black fellow.. warned me.. that their intention was first to spear all the commandants, then to fence up the roads and stop the drays from travelling, and to starve the 'jackeroos' (strangers). The jury is still out on this term. Is it possible that it is a Queensland Aboriginal term not for 'crow shrike' but for 'stranger'?

Australian idioms. 2014.

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  • jackeroo — [jak΄ə ro͞o′] n. Austral. an inexperienced apprentice working on a sheep or cattle ranch …   English World dictionary

  • Jackeroo — Jackaroo Jack a*roo , n. Also Jackeroo Jack e*roo [Jack + kangaroo.] A young man living as an apprentice on a sheep station, or otherwise engaged in acquainting himself with colonial life. [Colloq., Australia] [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • jackeroo — var. of JACKAROO. * * * jackeroo see jackaroo …   Useful english dictionary

  • jackeroo — /jak euh rooh /, n., pl. jackeroos, v., jackerooed, jackerooing. Australian. n. 1. an inexperienced person working as an apprentice on a sheep ranch. v.i. 2. to work as an apprentice on a sheep ranch. Also, jackaroo. [1875 80; JACK1 + (KANG)AROO; …   Universalium

  • jackeroo — n. inexperienced person who works as an apprentice on a sheep ranch …   English contemporary dictionary

  • jackeroo — noun & verb variant spelling of jackaroo …   English new terms dictionary

  • jackeroo — jack·e·roo …   English syllables

  • jackeroo — /dʒækəˈru/ (say jakuh rooh) noun → jackaroo …  

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