Slacker From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article is about people who lack work ethic. For other uses, see Slacker (disambiguation).
According to different sources, the term slacker dates back to about 1790 or 1898. It gained some recognition during the British Gezira Scheme in the early to mid 20th century, when Sudanese labourers protested their relative powerlessness by working lethargically, a form of protest known as "slacking."
In the United States during World War I, the word "slacker" was commonly used to describe someone who was not participating in the war effort, especially someone who avoided military service, an equivalent of the later term draft dodger. Attempts to track down such evaders were called slacker raids. During World War I, U.S. Senator Miles Poindexter discussed whether inquiries "to separate the cowards and the slackers from those who had not violated the draft" had been managed properly. A San Francisco Chronicle headline on September 7, 1918, read: "Slacker is Doused in Barrel of Paint." The term was also used during the World War II period in the United States. In 1940, Time quoted the U.S. Army on managing the military draft efficiently: "War is not going to wait while every slacker resorts to endless appeals."
The shift in the use of "slacker" from its draft-related meaning to a more general sense of the avoidance of work is unclear. In April 1948, the New Republic referred to "resentment against taxes levied to aid slackers."