Making an agent noun out of [to sleep rough]?

High on grammar

Senior Member
Farsi
Hello everyone:


What is the idiomatic way of referring to people who sleep outdoors because they don’t have a place to live? In Farsi, we call them “under-the-sky sleepers”; the sky being treated as the roof over their heads. I am not talking about homeless people; this could happen to anyone, especially if they are traveling on foot. I am familiar with “to sleep rough”. I was wondering if I can add an ‘er’ to it and make an agent noun out of it?

As in “sleeper-rougher”.


Thanks
 
  • joanvillafane

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    This is not a term that I've ever heard here in the U.S.
    People who are sleeping outdoors because they are camping are called campers or hikers.
    If someone happens to spend a night outdoors just because it's convenient or for some other reason, we might say, he slept "under the stars."
    The idea of traveling on foot and sleeping outdoors is perhaps so unusual that we do not have a word for it.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    This is not a term that I've ever heard here in the U.S.
    People who are sleeping outdoors because they are camping are called campers or hikers.
    If someone happens to spend a night outdoors just because it's convenient or for some other reason, we might say, he slept "under the stars."
    The idea of traveling on foot and sleeping outdoors is perhaps so unusual that we do not have a word for it.
    What do you call homeless people who sleep in doorways, etc?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Thanks, I was simply satisfying my own curiosity. se16Teddy's approval of the noun phrase "rough sleepers" seems to me to be only applicable to the homeless, although someone, e.g. on a hike, can be said to sleep rough.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    We don't have an equivalent to High on grammar's “under-the-sky sleepers”. He's describing something which would be abnormal here - somebody who is not homeless but who travels rough and who doesn't have a tent. That sounds like some elements of the armed forces on exercise or in combat. "Rough sleeper" is only used for the homeless.
     

    High on grammar

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    We don't have an equivalent to High on grammar's “under-the-sky sleepers”. He's describing something which would be abnormal here - somebody who is not homeless but who travels rough and who doesn't have a tent. That sounds like some elements of the armed forces on exercise or in combat. "Rough sleeper" is only used for the homeless.

    Hello again:

    I found something which you might find interesting.

    To sleep rough: sleep out of doors where one can

    Subjects: vagrant/tramp/runaway/traveler.

    But the boy would constantly ‘go missing’ at nights from his foster home because his mother had taken to sleeping rough in the park.

    The similar ‘live rough’ may refer to a vagrant’s life, (temporary) conditions without proper shelter etc.


    Source: Oxford Dictionary of Current Idiomatic English Volume 2: phrase, clause & sentence idioms

    A P Cowie, R Macin& IR McCaig
     
    Last edited:

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    But High on Grammar said he was not talking about homeless people.
    He said he was talking about "people who sleep outdoors because they don't have a place to live." What would you call people who have no place to live? I'd call them homeless.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    But the boy would constantly ‘go missing’ at nights from his foster home because his mother had taken to sleeping rough in the park.
    I'm not clear what point you are trying to make. His mother is homeless, which is, presumably, why he is living in a foster home. In BE a "rough sleeper" is homeless. The term does not apply to a traveller who is not a vagrant.

    Parla, High specifically said
    I am not talking about homeless people
     

    High on grammar

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    I'm not clear what point you are trying to make. His mother is homeless, which is, presumably, why he is living in a foster home. In BE a "rough sleeper" is homeless. The term does not apply to a traveller who is not a vagrant.

    Parla, High specifically said
    The dictionary I cited says that it can apply to travelers.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I don't think we have a noun for people who sleep rough but are not homeless, HoG:(.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    High. Please read what I wrote:
    In BE a "rough sleeper" is homeless. The term does not apply to a traveller who is not a vagrant.
    Being forced to "sleep rough" because your flight is delayed does not make somebody into a "rough sleeper". There is a great deal of difference between sleeping in a nice warm airport terminal building with a pocket full of money, hot and cold running water, toilets and coffee shops, and sleeping under a railway arch at 5 degrees below freezing in a greasy sleeping bag with a newspaper for a pillow.
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    High's latest indicates another category to add to 'those who sleep out of doors for lack of money for even temporary lodgings': 'those who are temporarily forced to sleeep wherever they can because of a disaster of some kind'. 'Rough sleepers', in my opinion, would mean only the first; there's no noun that I can think of for the second.

    Adendum: Overlap with previous two posts.
     
    Last edited:

    High on grammar

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    The Rough Guide to First-Time Europe

    By Doug Lansky

    But if you do find yourself having to sleep rough, bear in mind the following tips. Firstly, you probably won't be the only one doing it, so when it looks inevitable start trying to secure a good spot. What's a good spot? You'll know it when you see ...

    The Rough Guide to First-Time Europe
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    We all agree that we can use the verb phrase "sleep rough" in a variety of circumstances, HoG:).
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    But we also all agree that the noun "rough sleeper" only applies in a subset of those situations;).
     

    High on grammar

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    But we also all agree that the noun "rough sleeper" only applies in a subset of those situations;).
    But the Oxford dictionary from which I cited an example doesn't seem to agree with you guys. It lists some words that can act as the subjects of the verb phrase "sleep rough" and one of those words happens to be 'traveler'.
     
    Last edited:

    High on grammar

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    High. Please read what I wrote:
    Being forced to "sleep rough" because your flight is delayed does not make somebody into a "rough sleeper". There is a great deal of difference between sleeping in a nice warm airport terminal building with a pocket full of money, hot and cold running water, toilets and coffee shops, and sleeping under a railway arch at 5 degrees below freezing in a greasy sleeping bag with a newspaper for a pillow.
    That wasn't the point I was trying to make. All I was trying to say was that ' sleep rough' can be used in a travel context
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    HoG,
    All I was trying to say was that ' sleep rough' can be used in a travel context
    Why? Nobody said it couldn't.

    This thread answers your question asking for a noun. The use of the verb "sleep" with the adverb "rough" has nothing to do with your question. Anybody can sleep rough. They don't have to be homeless, tramps or travellers. They could be journalists writing articles about the homeless. I could sleep wrapped in an old blanket on the grass in my garden. I'd be sleeping rough, but that would not make me a "rough sleeper". There is no specific English noun to describe me. We would have to use a noun phrase: "that old eccentric who likes sleeping in his garden".
     

    High on grammar

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    HoG,
    Why? Nobody said it couldn't.

    This thread answers your question asking for a noun. The use of the verb "sleep" with the adverb "rough" has nothing to do with your question. Anybody can sleep rough. They don't have to be homeless, tramps or travellers. They could be journalists writing articles about the homeless. I could sleep wrapped in an old blanket on the grass in my garden. I'd be sleeping rough, but that would not make me a "rough sleeper". There is no specific English noun to describe me. We would have to use a noun phrase: "that old eccentric who likes sleeping in his garden".
    :thumbsup:
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top