gooney bird

or goon·y bird

[ goo-nee ]
/ ˈgu ni /


any of several albatrosses, especially the black-footed albatross and the Laysan albatross, occurring on islands in the Pacific Ocean, often near naval bases.
Slang. a foolish or awkward person or thing; goon.

Nearby words

Origin of gooney bird

First recorded in 1940–45; see origin at goon
Also called gooney, goony. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for gooney bird

gooney bird

/ (ˈɡuːnɪ) /


an informal name for the albatross, esp the black-footed albatross (Diomedea nigripes)

Word Origin for gooney bird

C19 gony (originally sailors' slang), probably from dialect gooney fool, of obscure origin; compare goon
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