- a ruffian or hoodlum.
- of or like hooligans.
Origin of hooligan
Examples from the Web for hooligan
And then there is Caminero, who remains, quietly simply, a hooligan.When Artists Attack—Themselves
February 20, 2014
But it was not even a nobleman's rod; any moujik, any hooligan, could wield it.
And not a thing had been stolen—not a hooligan had dared enter.
Even the Hooligan was probably invented in China centuries before we thought of him.Reginald
He must suffer for smashing up my rooms exactly as if he had been a hooligan in the street.
He is a hooligan; that's precisely what he is, and once I was pleased at his coming to my concert.
- slang a rough lawless young person
Word Origin and History for hooligan
1890s, of unknown origin, first found in British newspaper police-court reports in the summer of 1898, almost certainly from the variant form of the Irish surname Houlihan, which figured as a characteristic comic Irish name in music hall songs and newspapers of the 1880s and '90s.
As an "inventor" and adapter to general purposes of the tools used by navvies and hodmen, "Hooligan" is an Irish character who occupies week by week the front of a comic literary journal called Nuggets, one of the series of papers published by Mr. James Henderson at Red Lion House. Previous to publication in London, "Hooligan" appears, I believe, in New York in a comic weekly, and in London he is set off against "Schneider," a German, whose contrainventions and adaptations appear in the Garland (a very similar paper to Nuggets), which also comes from Mr. Henderson's office. "Hooligan" and "Schneider" have been running, I should think, for four or five years. ["Notes and Queries," Oct. 15, 1898]
Internationalized 20c. in communist rhetoric as Russian khuligan, opprobrium for "scofflaws, political dissenters, etc."