Origin of palookafrom uncertain or unknown; perhaps : popularized by Jack Conway (died 1928), United States baseball player and sportswriter
- Sports An incompetent or easily defeated athlete, especially a prizefighter.
- Slang A stupid or clumsy person.
Origin of palookaOrigin unknown
Used in the US since the 1920s, originally primarily of boxers. Popularized by Jack Conway of Variety, who also popularized baloney and bimbo. Further popularized by Ham Fisher in his comic strip Joe Palooka, about a boxer (published in newspapers since 1930, particularly popular in 1940s).