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  1. #1
    English4everyone is offline Member
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    Default What do you call this person?

    What do you call a very very poor person who doesn't have anything and sleeps on the street, usually in a carton box?

  2. #2
    buggles's Avatar
    buggles is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: What do you call this person?

    Quote Originally Posted by English4everyone View Post
    What do you call a very very poor person who doesn't have anything and sleeps on the street, usually in a carton box?
    It depends how charitable you're feeling! In the UK, we refer to "homeless people" which is non-judgemental, but they can also be called "tramps" or even "derelicts". In the US, they use words like "hobo" and "bum", while "vagrant" is used in both the UK and in the US.

    buggles (not a teacher).

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: What do you call this person?

    I think you mean "cardboard box". I generally refer to them as "homeless people" or "the homeless". In third-world countries, I'm aware of terms such as "street kids".

    In the UK, there was a very PC (politically correct) term coined, which escapes me now, but there are some suggestions here: Politically correct way of saying homeless without being offensive? - Yahoo! Answers
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you call this person?

    Quote Originally Posted by buggles View Post
    It depends how charitable you're feeling! In the UK, we refer to "homeless people" which is non-judgemental, but they can also be called "tramps" or even "derelicts". In the US, they use words like "hobo" and "bum", while "vagrant" is used in both the UK and in the US.

    buggles (not a teacher).
    In the US, we call them "homeless" as well. I haven't heard the words "hobo" used in my life except in fiction books set in the past when "riding the rails" was considered romantic. We use "bum" for many people, including an athlete who is playing poorly or your Congressman.

    We have a PC phrase too, but I can't think of it either.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 01-Oct-2012 at 03:51.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Default Re: What do you call this person?

    'Homeless' is also how it's said in Australia. However, if people choose to be more offencive, 'Hobo', 'Derro', 'Bum', and numerous others are used....It's sad that there are more offensive words to call them than nice/neutral words...
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you call this person?

    That PC term has the word "diplaced" in it, I think. I just can't remember it right now, though.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you call this person?

    The UK PC term was something like "domicilely challenged" or "between homes", but neither of them is exactly right. The latter was connected to "between jobs" meaning unemployed.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: What do you call this person?

    I've seen unhoused used too.

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you call this person?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    ...
    We have a PC phrase too, but I can't think of it either.
    Could it be - <hawk, spit> - 'unhomed'?

    b

  10. #10
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you call this person?

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    [In Australia]..'Hobo', 'Derro', 'Bum', and numerous others are used....
    I don't think anyone has mentioned 'derelict' yet - now archaic in Br Eng except when it refers to buildings or property. But that's obviously where 'derro' came from.

    b

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