Hobo signs

This page lists all the various symbols in the Hobo signs category.

A hobo is a migratory worker or homeless vagabond—especially one who is penniless. The term originated in the Western (probably Northwestern) United States around 1890. Unlike "tramps"—who work only when they are forced to- and "bums" who do not work at all, "hobos" are itinerant workers.

It is unclear exactly when hobos first appeared on the American railroading scene. With the end of the American Civil War in the 1860s, many discharged veterans returning home began hopping freight trains. Others looking for work on the American frontier followed the railways west aboard freight trains in the late 19th century.

To cope with the difficulty of such a lifestyle, hobos developed a system of symbols, or a code. Hobos would write this code with chalk or coal to provide directions, information, and warnings to other hobos. Some signs included "turn right here", "beware of hostile railroad police", "dangerous dog", "food available here", and so on.

Symbols in this category:

Here it is

A hobo sign indicating the location of something.

Read more »

Here live only women

A French hobo sign indicating that only women live in a particular house.

Read more »

Here live only women (alternative)

A French hobo sign indicating that only women live in a particular house.

Read more »

Here you can get work

A French hobo sign that says there are job opportunities available here.

Read more »

Hidden money

A French hobo sign that indicates money- there's a lot of it but it's well-hidden.

Read more »

Hobos are thieves

A French hobo sign indicating that people in the area view hobos as thieves.

Read more »

Hobos are thieves (alternative)

A French hobo sign indicating that people in the area view hobos as thieves.

Read more »

Homeowner has a gun

A triangle with hands signifies that the homeowner has a gun and he was going to use it.

Read more »

Hospitable house

A French hobo sign indicating a hospitable house.

Read more »

Hostile police

beware of hostile railroad police

Read more »

Judge

In the United States system of hobo signs, this symbol indicates that a judge lives here.

Read more »

Kind woman

A British hobo sign that indicates where a kind woman lives.

Read more »

Kind-hearted women

French- this house is inhabited by kind-hearted women.

Read more »

Knock here

A sign in both the British and United States hobo systems.

Read more »

Legal building

A United States hobo sign indicating a police station or law court.

Read more »

Have a discussion about the Hobo signs category with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this symbols category to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"Hobo signs Symbols." Symbols.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 18 Dec. 2018. <https://www.symbols.com/category/52>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest human-edited symbols collection on the web!

Graphical index

Use our unique search feature to find a symbol based on its various graphical characteristics:


  • Symmetry:
  • Shape:
  • Colors:
  • Curveness:
  • Crossing: