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See also: Goon, góon, gōon, go on, go-on, and ĝo-on



  • IPA(key): /ɡuːn/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːn

Etymology 1[edit]

Shortened from gooney, from obsolete gony ("simpleton", circa 1580), of unknown origin. Perhaps a familiar term derived from Middle English gone, a variant of gome (man, person). 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.
  • The "guard" sense was influenced by both senses 1 and 2, though not by the Goon Show reference, which arose about 10 years after WWII.


goon (plural goons)

  1. A thug; a usually muscular henchman with little intelligence (also known as a 'hired goon').
    • 2009 February 22, Kevin Baker, “Blood on the Street”, in New York Times[1]:
      Efforts to unionize were routinely met with clubbings, shootings, jailings, blacklistings and executions, perpetrated not only by well-armed legions of company goons, but also by police officers, deputies, National Guardsmen and even regular soldiers.
  2. A fool; someone considered silly, stupid, awkward, or outlandish.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 5, in The China Governess[2]:
      Mr. Campion appeared suitably impressed and she warmed to him. He was very easy to talk to with those long clown lines in his pale face, a natural goon, born rather too early she suspected.
  3. (ice hockey, derogatory)  An enforcer or fighter.
    2002, “Hit Somebody!”, performed by Warren Zevon:
    [] a scout from the Flames came down from Saskatoon, said, "There's always room on our team for a goon"
  4. (Britain, WWII, PoW slang) A German guard in a prisoner-of-war camp.
  5. (Internet slang) A member of the comedy web site Something Awful.
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Etymology 2[edit]

Perhaps diminutive slang for flagon or from Aboriginal English goom.


goon (uncountable)

  1. (Australia, countable, informal) A wine flagon or cask.
    • 2009, Stephen Cummings, Will It Be Funny Tomorrow, Billy?: Misadventures in Music, page 11,
      We drank goons of cheap wine.
  2. (Australia, uncountable, informal) Cheap or inferior cask wine.
    • 2010, Patrick Holland, The Mary Smokes Boys, unnumbered page,
      ‘On the night of our school graduation he stole a flagon of goon wine and disappeared into the woods. The police found him the next day asleep on the creek. []
    • 2010, Jason Leung, This All Encompassing Trip: Chasing Pearl Jam Around the World, page 384,
      With these instructions, we take turns sipping the wine directly from the bottle on the beach. It′s not the classiest thing to do but the fact that it′s in a bottle already makes it classier than all the boxes of goon we′ve consumed this trip.
    • 2011, E.C. McSween, et al., Boganomics: The Science of Things Bogans Like, unnumbered page,
      Red wine was consumed largely by posh folk, white wine meant goon, mention of a Jägerbomb would have sent its father ducking for cover, and ‘sex on the beach’ meant just that.





  1. accusative singular of goo




  1. Rōmaji transcription of ごおん

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of gon (to go)



goon anim (obviative goonan, diminutive goonens, locative gooning, distributive locative goonikaang)

  1. snow
    Gii-gichi-onzaamiino goon gii-biboonagak.
    There was a lot of snow this winter.

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