1. A hobo who carries a bindle. 2. One who has nothing; a pauper. "That bindle-stiff ain't got a pretzel (nothing)."

- american underworld dictionary - 1950

In James Blish's Okie series (aka Cities in Flight), the term bindlestiff is used to describe a migrant city which preys on other migrant cities. Blish's explanation of the origin of the term is that a bindlestiff was a migrant (a hobo or a tramp) who preyed on other migrants, particularly by stealing from their bindles. (NB: This definition does not match that given by Webster's Dictionary.) New York, the primary city in Blish's novels, meets up with, and defeats, several bindlestiffs in their travels.

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