Definition of jackeroo in English:


(also jackaroo)

Pronunciation /ˌjakəˈro͞o/ /ˌdʒækəˈru/


informal Australian
  • A young man working on a sheep or cattle station to gain experience.

    • ‘With the helicopter hovering above, Peter on his motorbike, faithful dog Skip and a couple of would-be jackeroos, the sheep were caught.’
    • ‘This weekend of outback games, storytelling, yarns and the drovers reunion dinner pays tribute to the contribution that drovers, stockmen, stationhands, jillaroos and jackeroos have made to our unique pioneering history.’
    • ‘You can horse-ride with the jackeroos or Australian cowboys who work this station, or have a camel ride, explore the tropical gorges, go canoeing, experience nature walks or four-wheel drive treks, or fish one of the rivers.’
    • ‘There can't be many occupations not to be found in London, and the absence from this book of coalminers, shearers, pearl divers and jackeroos might only mean they haven't yet been ‘written up’!’
    • ‘There are photographs of ‘jilleroos’, but while nominally these are the female equivalent of ‘jackeroos’, the important difference is that jackeroos are young men getting station hand experience before passing onto something better, while jilleroos are merely female station hands full stop.’

intransitive verb

[no object]informal Australian
  • Work as a jackeroo.

    • ‘He returned to live on the family farm for six months, followed by six months jackerooing in northern Queensland.’
    • ‘After school Bruce went jackerooing in the North West, which led to him sketching his fellow stockmen, their horses and the surrounding unique landscape.’
    • ‘I jackerooed in Western Australia and attended Muresk Agricultural College.’
    • ‘I jackerooed across the state from the bush at Port Augusta to Keith in the wetter south-east, before marrying and going on to manage the family property at Olary in the north-east of SA.’


Mid 19th century (denoting, in Aboriginal usage, a white man living outside a settlement): probably from an Aboriginal language.