One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A silly, foolish, or eccentric person.
idiot, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, blockhead, buffoon, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clodView synonyms
- ‘I enjoyed these comparisons, and chuckled heartily at the thought of all the pasty faced goons queuing for minging breakfast rolls along the M50.’
- ‘I attribute the successes of the show to the bassist and the saxophonist, and the failures to the two goons behind the laptops.’
- ‘We got her all established, then sat around for at least forty-five minutes like the goons we are, grinning and commenting on her every action.’
- ‘A CD disc changer has replaced the DJ tonight and the local musicians who made up a large part of the clientele have been replaced by college goons slurping up their student loans.’
- ‘Yet the sun starved goons are still sitting out, shivering, trying to drain the last goodness from the day and avoid facing up to the fact that they have an exam in the morning.’
2North American A bully or thug, especially a member of an armed or security force.‘a squad of goons waving pistols’
thug, scoundrel, villain, rogue, rascal, lout, hooligan, hoodlum, vandal, delinquent, rowdy, bully boy, bully, bruteView synonyms
- ‘When we mouth off or botch it, they see us as the Dalton Boys, bullying goons who never learn.’
- ‘Squads of goons roamed the area in buses cutting down the banners and decorations.’
- ‘There were at least seventeen armed goons, not to mention the three snipers on the roof.’
- ‘Mean Mike saunters over to the security perimeter set up by security goons.’
- ‘‘Their place is going to be crawling with bodyguards and other low-life goons,’ he mumbled.’
- ‘The goons, armed with slingshots, nuts, bolts and ball bearings, wounded over thirty of the leftists.’
- ‘After expelling the reporters, the goons vandalized the newspaper's equipment.’
- ‘Mobbed wherever she goes and forced to travel everywhere with a squad of security goons, on one occasion the California Highway Patrol had to close an entire section of freeway to let her car escape pursuing fans.’
- ‘He had two goons trailing behind him; his personal body thugs.’
- ‘The police should have at least stopped the people being thrown out, especially if it was done with the use of dogs and goons.’
- ‘But there was another tension on the back of my mind that whether I should be taking the same route while returning as there was every possibility of my teammates being detained or attacked by the local goons.’
- ‘A network built upon trust and cooperation comes crashing down when thugs and goons roll through the neighborhood.’
- ‘He had fought goons, he had hospitalized thieves, he had beaten the best fighters in the world but he had never gone up against anything like these fiends of horror.’
- ‘It sounded great, so I did chase her and got really hurt by a security goon.’
- ‘The decade of the 1980s and early 1990s saw the almost routine use of company-paid goons, uniformed and armed, in labor struggles.’
- ‘Obviously threatened by our tenacity, the owner called his goons, five men, and grabbed my friend (a woman) as she approached the counter with another question.’
- ‘Even murderous goons and heartless goombahs were stirred to noble deeds.’
- ‘A large and final wave of goons comes on at the guards from all sides.’
- ‘While supervisors looked on a gang of goons attacked and beat union organizers, forcing them to sign documents that they were quitting their jobs.’
- ‘Once the goons (like Bromell) have us by the throat, there'll be very little room to manoeuvre (it's tough when one is in handcuffs).’
3British A guard in a German prisoner-of-war camp during the Second World War.
Mid 19th century: perhaps from dialect gooney ‘booby’; influenced by the subhuman cartoon character ‘Alice the Goon’, created by E. C. Segar (1894–1938), American cartoonist.
Cheap wine, especially when sold in large cartons.‘we sat in the kitchen drinking the rest of the goon’
- ‘He's a full-time goon drinker.’
- ‘Pass me the goon, now.’
- ‘There followed card games accompanied by a few mugs of goon.’
- ‘We left her staring at the glass of goon in her hands.’
- ‘In the early hours of the morning, the goon ran out.’
1980s: probably an alteration of flagon, possibly influenced by goom.
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