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General Who coined the phrase "murder hobo"

der_kluge

Adventurer
It seems more than likely that someone on this site might have done it.
Any amateur etymologists dug into this one?
We should find them, and give them credit where it's due.
 

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Homeless orphans with zero ties to any family or any friends (outside of other murderhobos) wander from town to town, killing things and taking their stuff.
 







Gadget

Adventurer
I'm quite sure the phrase pre-dates this site and the lead up to 3E's release. I was probably first popularized and became a part of fan vocabulary in the old news-group/messageboards of yore.
 



Early '80's sounds about right. I know it goes back to when I was playing AD&D about that time. Don't remember if it was 1e or 2e or maybe even OD&D.
Yea, that's a poorly researched article. Interesting, but 2007 is decades too late.

I would look at some of the first Dragon and Dungeon magazines. I suspect the term will show up there pretty early on. Maybe even some of the original TSR pamphlets or the early Gen Con publications might mention the term.
 


Eltab

Hero
The term "murderhobo"could not come to the forefront until "homeless" took over the space used by "hobo" in the popular vernacular. The word "hobo" was vacant (except for its ghosts) available and awaiting a repurposing by about 1990.
(Yah, real precise and detailed, I know)
 


der_kluge

Adventurer
Early '80's sounds about right. I know it goes back to when I was playing AD&D about that time. Don't remember if it was 1e or 2e or maybe even OD&D.

Yea, that's a poorly researched article. Interesting, but 2007 is decades too late.

I would look at some of the first Dragon and Dungeon magazines. I suspect the term will show up there pretty early on. Maybe even some of the original TSR pamphlets or the early Gen Con publications might mention the term.

Done. I re-installed my Dragon magazine CD archive, and did a search for "hobo", which yielded only one occurrence - issue 186, pg. 98, which referenced a "hobo" occupation for Call of Cthulhu.
 

Azzy

Newtype
Huh. This fits the rough timeline that I first heard the term.

Also, I knew EvilSchemer from the Mekton/Cyberpunk 2020/Fuzion days of yore. Ah, tempus fugit and all that.
 

"Murder Hobo" is OLD! I am really not sure HOW old, but I was playing in the 70's, so I probably heard it approximately around the time it made the rounds, and that was definitely in the early 80's or earlier. It was just one of those things that 'appeared'. I just don't recall from where, possibly some article in some publication? UseNet actually sounds like a VERY good possibility, as that was about the only way in the pre-Web days for stuff to get around, outside of print.
So, the more I think about it, the more I am confident that it was something derived from UseNet, and/or the BBS community, which were pretty synonymous in those days. I was in college in the early 80's and we did have access to UseNet. There was a LOT of RPG stuff on there! Actually quite a lot of it migrated into the greater online community since then, like most of the debates about alignment, and the discussions of RPG theory (ala Forge and such).
 

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