Origin of goon; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps a ruffian or thug, esp. one hired to help break a strike, etc.
Origin of goonafter Alice the Goon, grotesque comic-strip figure created by E. C. Segar (1894-1938), U.S. cartoonist a person who is awkward, grotesque, stupid, etc.
- A thug hired to intimidate or harm opponents.
- A stupid or oafish person.
Origin of goonProbably ultimately short for gooney, simpleton.
Shortened from gooney, from obsolete gony ("simpleton", circa 1580), of unknown origin. Gony was applied by sailors to the albatross and similar big, clumsy birds (circa 1839). Goon first carried the meaning "stupid person" (circa 1921).
- The meaning of "hired thug" (circa 1938) is largely influenced by the comic strip character Alice the Goon from the Popeye series.
- The "fool" sense was reinforced by the popular radio program, The Goon Show, starring Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers.
- no-go, nogo
Diminutive slang for flagon.