Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shovel n.1

1. (US) a banjo.

[US]Charleston (WV) Daily Mail 31 July 6/8: Musicans have slang terms for every instrument [...] Shovel-banjo.

2. (US gay/prison) the penis.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 155: In most cases, the new arrival’s penis [Johnson, jock, shovel, swipe] isn’t given a second look.

In compounds

shovel stiff (n.) (also pick-and-shovel stiff, shovel bum, ... flirt) [SE shovel + stiff n.1 (5a)/bum n.3 (1)]

(US tramp) a tramp who would beg but does it poorly and will therefore work (at a labouring job) when necessary.

[US]Neihart Herald (MT) 18 Apr. 2/4: There’s jest two kin’s of bums ’n them is town bums ’n shovel bums [...] A shovel bum will work when he’s broke [...] A town bum’ll sponge on ennybody, but a shovel bum won’t sponge.
[UK]W.H. Davies Beggars 42: Shovel stiff is the name applied by tramps to navvies and railroad workers. If one of the latter enters a tramps’ camp, being out of work, [...] his presence is not wanted.
[US]Morn. Tulsa Dly World (OK) 13 June 19/1: Dingbat — A laborer; known also as a shovel flirt or stiff or groundhog.
[US] ‘Oh, You Wobblies’ in Lingenfelter et al. Songs of the Amer. West (1968) 543: The angels and the shovel-stiffs / Have joined the O.B.U.
[US]G.H. Mullin Adventures of a Scholar Tramp 36: I got galloping dandruff [...] got ’em from a nigger shovel-stiff in a box-car.
[US] ‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 462: Shovel bum, A second rate tramp.
[US]J. Callahan Man’s Grim Justice 132: The poorly dressed boys were the dynamiters, shovel stiffs, Gay Cats, Ring Tails, Ding Bats, the men who couldn’t beg successfully, who are not recognized by the Johns and who are detested because they work now and then.
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks.
[UK]K. Mackenzie Living Rough 170: Three men in working clothes standing at the far end of the bar. ‘Irish pick-and-shovel stiffs,’ I thought.
Jackson Sun (TN) 16 Aug. 5/1: It’s caused this bearded and well tanned ‘shovel bum’ to lead a nomadic life.

SE in slang uses

In phrases