The Secret Language of Vagabonds and Traveling Hobos Mike Richard November 15, 2007 Language, Odds + Ends, Sidelines 7 Comments Not surprisingly, vagabonds and traveling hobos have their own system of language which I’m sure dates back decades, if not centuries. Some hobos now communicate via cellular phones and e-mail. But the classic American hobo of early this century communicated through a much more basic system of marks–a code through which they gave information and warnings to their fellow Knights of the Road. Usually, these signs would be written in chalk or coal on a trestle, fence, building or sidewalk, letting others know what they could expect in the area of the symbol. Check out the list of Hobo Signs & Symbols which seems a rather apropos addendum to the photo essay I mentioned a while back on The Underground World of Real Life Vagabonds. My favorites: “Man with a gun lives here.” and “Kind woman lives here. Tell a pitiful story.” How many symbols can you guess? Most are not really intuitive at all, but I suppose that’s the point. 7 Responses 21st Century Hobo « Insatiable Curiosity December 4, 2008 [...] interesting site for the new hobo is here. Apparently, the hobos of yore had a system of signs to alert one another of what was going on [...] Reply Taylor December 1, 2009 I think Hobos’ are very amazing. I’ve experienced them myself. They live an amazing type of life they live near a river & whatever they don’t want they give to a store & they can buy what they do want. Reply Sheila Quinn May 29, 2011 Just had the strangest thing happen. Saw some “hobo language” on a secret at http://www.postsecret.com, and became really interested…then I realized that this weekend in Montreal I saw some written on the back of a building! I have to go back and read what it said! Mike, would you be interested in an interview on my radio show? I’m based out of Sherbrooke, Quebec! Email me! Reply CrÃpticos, vagos y maleantes | Viajes con mi tÃa January 23, 2012 [...] (6) Fragmentos del texto procedentes deÂ ”El Lenguaje secreto de vagabundos y hobbes viajeros” [...] Reply Dong wang October 14, 2012 What does the triangle with the antlers mean? Someone please. Reply Robert Hutchings November 12, 2012 to: Dong wang, a triangle with antlers means “a man with a gun lives here” Reply Dong Wang November 14, 2012 Thanks! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website Let\'s Make Sure You\'re Human ... * 9 − three = Comment Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.