Americans: This Is A Tramp

I was looking for images for this post, in which I will describe the differences between an American “tramp” and a British one, when I came across this British newspaper headline. 

Church Minister Shames Congregation By Dressing As Tramp 

The article ends with this – 

Chuchgoer John Sproston was one of the first to arrive at the service to see the “tramp” on the doorstep. 

He said: “We were all aghast when he took off his wig because he was very convincing.” 

If you are an American and you just read that PLEASE DON’T PANIC! The Minister was NOT dressed as a lady of loose virtue, because whatever you may think, that is NOT what “TRAMP” means: 


He was merely disguised as a long-term HOMELESS PERSON. That’s what the word “TRAMP” means and you can’t argue with that, because – 

a) A newspaper agrees with me 

b) A representative of GOD agrees with me 

And here he is, being a TRAMP (the Vicar, not God): 


Life is funny isn’t it? When I set out to make a post about “tramps”, I didn’t think I’d end up posting a photo of a vicar and a photo of me.


26 responses to “Americans: This Is A Tramp

  1. Americans call homeless people tramps also.

  2. ‘Tramp’ is trying to shift entirely to encompass tastelessly provocatively dressed women, and who wouldn’t, but there are a couple of sticking points – Disney’s The Lady and the Tramp is a big one.

  3. Conflicting evidence from the world of popular music:

    ‘The Lady is a Tramp’
    ‘Tramp’ as sung by Otis Redding.

    • Every time I heard Frank Sinatra sing that (when I was a child) I pictured him in love with a woman who ate food out of rubbish bins and sat drinking in the gutter.

  4. AKA Hobo, we don’t use tramp anymore to describe a homeless person because it’s not considered “Politically Correct”. We do, on the other hand, use tramp still to describe a woman/man who sleeps around, or is perceived to sleep around, because obviously, when you’re a tramp you don’t get political correctness because you having too much sex and everyone is jealous of you. ;-)

    • That’s just typical isn’t it? That’s why I used a picture of me (years ago, it was the poster for a comedy night I used to host) – I didn’t want to call another woman a “tramp”, I don’t care who she is.

      Well, I could have used Camilla Parker-Bowles but she looks more like a homeless man.

  5. I used tramp to mean a homeless person until about 10 years ago when Brittney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Christina Agulara (sp? don’t care) started making headlines for being whores. Tramp is a nicer word that the media could use.

    • True, it is a nicer word. But it still seems harsh.

      I can’t believe Americans knew what “tramp” really meant, before I told them. WTF? I think some of you have been seeing English tutors, behind my back.

  6. I grew up with Lady and the Tramp, where Tramp was a homeless dog with no tags and no family of his own. So I guess that’s pretty much what a tramp has always been to me – a hobo, a bum.

    I’ve heard tramp used in the other way of course, as a “woman of loose morals” but I guess it’s always been about context. Obviously if someone is talking about homeless folks, they don’t mean a sleazy woman. Well now, perhaps they could! There are probably some sleazy homeless people, just as there are some with more class. What a mess I’ve made of it! LOL

    • Darcs, you’ve utterly confused me now.

      I think what you are saying is that it is SEXIST to regard “tramp” (as in a homeless person) as an exclusively male occupation. Quite right too! Men need to stop hogging the gutter, the cheap booze and the finger-less gloves!

      • Well, that wasn’t where I was going precisely, but it’s not too bad for a guess. :) I was just thinking that some homeless people are on the sleazy side – trampy tramps if you will. And that just as in every other walk of life, there are those who are not trampy tramps, but are really more the victims of circumstance.

        Most homeless are men, but with the economy being what it is now, huge numbers of women and children have been added to that list.

        • Yeah, I was messing about. ;)

          It’s my understanding that the majority of people who live on the streets in the UK come from the armed services (they leave and then get “lost” trying to cope with normal life) or from children’s homes (again, they leave the system and then a couple of mistakes can leave them destitute). I may be wrong.

          Father Stephen (from our Church) says people come to his door every day, begging for food. He won’t give anyone money but he’ll make sandwiches, tea, soup etc. for them. The parishoners donated stuff at Harvest Festival and that ran out, then the Anglican Church gave him money to buy food but that ran out too! I’m going to volunteer to ask our local supermarket to donate any dented cans of soup etc. or food near its sell-by date. The things they throw away could help him a lot.

  7. I’m just grateful that my name didn’t somehow get dragged into this discussion.

    But on the other hand, I can always use the publicity…

  8. The word “Tramp” makes me think about sharing my spaghetti in an alley.

  9. Some Americans may know the “correct” meaning of tramp from the Charlie Chaplin movies, where he played his famous character “the little tramp.”

  10. Tramp, hobo, whore – whatever! I think this guy made a damn good point with his congregation!

    • Yeah it was a good trick!

      Father Stephen, at our Church, is awesome. As I have mentioned in a comment above, he gives out food but not money, to people who beg at his door. But in his last sermon he admitted to feeling “a bit guilty” for refusing to give people money, even though he knows they will spend it on heroin, or booze. The reason? “Their lives are so horrible, who am I to stand in judgement over them, as they try to fund whatever gets them through the day?”. Bless him.

  11. Getting food donations from the grocery stores would be great. Wishing you much success!

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