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[goon] /gun/
Informal. a hired hoodlum or thug.
  1. a stupid, foolish, or awkward person.
  2. a roughneck.
Origin of goon
1920-25; shortened from dial. gooney, variant of obsolete gony a simpleton (< ?); influenced by the comic-strip character Alice the Goon in the series Thimble Theatre by E. C. Segar (1894-1938), American cartoonist Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for goon


a stupid or deliberately foolish person
(US, informal) a thug hired to commit acts of violence or intimidation, esp in an industrial dispute
Word Origin
C20: partly from dialect gooney fool, partly after the character Alice the Goon, created by E. C. Segar (1894–1938), American cartoonist


(Austral, informal) cheap wine packaged in casks or boxed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for goon

1921, "stupid person," from gony "simpleton" (1580s), of unknown origin, but applied by sailors to the albatross and similar big, clumsy birds (1839); sense of "hired thug" first recorded 1938 (in reference to union "beef squads" used to cow strikers in the Pacific northwest), probably from Alice the Goon, slow-witted and muscular (but gentle-natured) character in "Thimble Theater" comic strip (starring Popeye) by E.C. Segar (1894-1938). She also was the inspiration for British comedian Spike Milligan's "The Goon Show." What are now "juvenile delinquents" were in the 1940s sometimes called goonlets.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for goon



: goon squad/ his goon tactics


  1. A strong, rough, intimidating man, esp a paid ruffian: Fondled, pinched, handled by a big red-haired goon who was our jailer
  2. Any unattractive or unliked person; jerk, pill: He had the face of a pure goon
  3. The police

[mid-1930s+; origin uncertain; perhaps entirely fr the name of Alice the Goon, a large hairy creature who appeared in E C Segar's comic strip ''Thimble Theatre'' in 1936, but who had a very gentle disposition; perhaps connected with Frederick Lewis Allen's term for ''a person with a heavy touch,'' that is, a literary or stylistic touch, found by 1921; perhaps fr gooney]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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