roustabout (plural roustabouts)

  1. (chiefly, US) an unskilled laborer, especially at an oilfield, at a circus or on a ship, 19th c.
    • 1961, Robert Fitzgerald (translator), Homer, Odyssey, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Book Eleven, 668-9,
      Then Sísiphos in torment I beheld / being roustabout to a tremendous boulder.
    • 1974, Saul Bellow, "Him with His Foot in His Mouth" in Collected Stories, Penguin, 2001, p. 377,
      Brooklyn Tony, who had run away from home to be a circus roustabout, became a poster artist and eventually an Abstract Expressionist.
    • 2013, Celeste Headlee, NPR, 7 January, 2013, []
      She works in McGregor, North Dakota as a roustabout pusher. That means she and her crew help fix and maintain the drilling sites.
    See also quotations under rouseabout.

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