2018 marked the 40 year anniversary of SSoIH.
It's time to uncloak... just a little...

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Today's Hobo Symbols

The hobo signs of yesteryear don't really apply much anymore in today's world. Newer symbols grew out of the need to adapt in the ever changing modernized world. Today Hobos communicate via smartphones and computers but out on the road power and signal can be scarce commodities and the need for basic symbolic communication lives on.

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Hobo Terms

Our collection, just shy of 2000 listings, of slang terms and definitions of words and phrases used by hobos, tramps, bums, bulls, migratory workers and those on the fringes of society.

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Hobo Signs of Days Past

Hobo signs have been around since the late 1800's. Hobo signs would be marked on sidewalks, fence posts, train trestles, under bridges near hobo jungles, nearly anyplace hobos would be traveling to convey messages to other hobos passing trough the area. These glyphs were scribed using either charcoal or chalk and occasionally carved into wood surfaces.

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Hobo Code of Ethics 1889

The earliest publicly published Hobo Ethical Code was by Tourist Union #63 in 1889. A union started by hobos to aid hobos in gaining employment. The union was open to hobos across the nation. There were 63 hobos present during the creation of the union and the name Tourist Union #63 was created. Out of that union came The Hobo Ethical Code of 1889.

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SSoIH Database of Hobo Signs

Search though our listing of over 380 Hobo Signs. Learn about the timeframe they were used from their source listings. Search for like symbol shapes, or by name.

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Hobo Nickel Carver Signature Search

Search through our list of Hobo Nickel Carvers and discover what signature belongs to who. Over 200 carvers are listed along with the signature(s) they use or have used and examples of their work to help you identify who might have carved your hobo nickel.

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