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Origin of hooligan
OTHER WORDS FROM hooliganhoo·li·gan·ism, noun
Words nearby hooligan
What does hooligan mean?
A hooligan is a person who intentionally makes trouble or breaks the law with rowdy, unruly behavior, especially with other hooligans.
Specifically, the term hooligan is applied to members of groups who use sporting events, especially soccer (football) games, as an opportunity to intentionally cause trouble or incite violence. The practice of doing so is called hooliganism.
The term is most often used in the plural because it almost always implies that there is a group of troublemakers—it is somewhat uncommon to refer to someone acting alone as a hooligan.
Example: The latest match was canceled after hooligans started a brawl outside the stadium.
Where does hooligan come from?
The first records of hooligan in English come from around 1900. It may come from the Irish surnames Hooligan or Houlihan, but this is uncertain. The term hooliganism dates back to around the same time.
The term was first used to refer to members of street gangs. Today, it is still often associated with lawbreaking and violence. This is especially the case for football hooligans (soccer hooligans). Though they’re sometimes described as unruly fans and they may organize based on their allegiance, their lawless behavior at football matches is not really about rooting for a team—it’s about using the opportunity to cause trouble in a large crowd, where things can get out of control and they’re less likely to get caught.
In general, hooliganism is about breaking the rules. Not everyone who is called a hooligan is breaking the law or being violent, but they’re usually causing trouble of some kind. For example, a group of teenagers being loud at a museum might be called hooligans. Hooligans are often young people, but not always.
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How is hooligan used in real life?
Hooligan is always used negatively. Although the word may sound a bit silly, hooligans can cause serious trouble.
I just put my hands on my hip when I saw some hooligans causing a ruckus.. I'm turning into my mother.. Slowly but surely..
— Regina Luis (@Rogue_Blazer) October 22, 2009
Enough with hypocrisy. England fans taught all football hooligans everything they know. England fans were the Big Daddy of football hooligans, admired by every racist Nazi the world over. Have things improved? Maybe a little bit but would you take your kids to an England game?
— Roshan M Salih (@RmSalih) October 15, 2019
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 6, 2015
Try using hooligan!
Which of the following words is LEAST likely to be used to refer to a hooligan?
Example sentences from the Web for hooligan
And then there is Caminero, who remains, quietly simply, a hooligan.
And not a thing had been stolen—not a hooligan had dared enter.Ghetto Comedies|Israel Zangwill
That tickled the crowd, too; she was such a charming little pink-cheeked specimen of a hooligan.The Convert|Elizabeth Robins
What sort of a two-faced scoundrel is this Hooligan, that he helps criminals in such work?
The hooligan, who had for a moment drawn near the crowd, was now heading straight for the Cit.The Exploits of Juve|Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain
Hooligan told her it wouldn't be necessary for her to say anything, as she could get back to Archer Avenue in the afternoon.