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Duke Kahanamoku (1890–1968), a Native Hawaiian who popularized the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing, in a 1911–1915 photograph. A surfer with poor style or skill is said to be “kooky” (sense 2).


Etymology 1[edit]

kook +‎ -y.


kooky (comparative kookier, superlative kookiest)

  1. (slang) Eccentric, strange, or foolish; crazy or insane; kookish.
    His kooky behavior seemed charming at first, but soon got on our nerves.
    • 1959 March 30, “‘Kooky exam’: Students quizzed on teen wax”, in The Billboard: The Amusement Industry's Leading Weekly, New York, N.Y.: Billboard Publications, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 20:
      In a move to make his exam more interesting, sociology instructor Abraham Kovler borrowed the Atco disk from deejay "Big Jim Pappas," WALL, Middletown, N.Y., and based eight questions on the record's lyrics. [] Pappas played up the project big on his show and nominated it for a "Kooky Exam of the Year" award.
    • 1960, “A Kookie Little Paradise”, Bob Hilliard (lyrics), Lee Pockriss (music), New York, N.Y.: Skidmore Music Co., →OCLC:
      Juke box playin' in the jungle / No charge, absolutely free / Soft drinks bubbling down a mountain / To the Carabean[sic – meaning Caribbean] sea: / What A Kookie Little Paradise / What A Kookie Little Paradise / Never was an island half as nice / As my Kookie Little Paradise.
    • 1961 July, Photoplay, New York, N.Y.: Macfadden Publications, →OCLC, page 54:
      If you are an Audrey Hepburn fan – who isn't? – you may have some difficulty in picturing her as a New York playgirl. Miss Hepburn, an elegant thoroughbred, just doesn't look like the type of girl who would live strictly for kicks. Yet here she is, turning out the performance of her life, in a new picture, Breakfast at Tiffany's, as – what the Americans call – 'a real kookie dame!'
    • 1962 February, Fran Smith, “On the Screens: Movies and TV”, in Boys' Life, volume LII, number 2, New Brunswick, N.J.: Boy Scouts of America, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 58:
      MOON PILOT. (Disney—Buena Vista) Charlie, a chimpanzee, has just circled the moon three times successfully; it is now time for a man to go. When the chimp sticks Astronaut Rick Talbot, in the seat of the pants, Rick stands up at the wrong time and is accepted as a volunteer. The chimp meantime is getting kookier and kookier—crazy, man.
    • 1984, Peggy Kaye, Games for Reading: Playful Ways to Help Your Child Read, New York, N.Y.: Pantheon Books, →ISBN:
      Your child will use your crazy answers as a model for inventing his or her own. That's why the more imaginative and far-out your answers are, the kookier your child's answers will be. And the kookier the better—because in this game, kookiness stretches the imagination.
    • 2000, Keith Scott, The Moose that Roared: The Story of Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a Flying Squirrel, and a Talking Moose, New York, N.Y.: St. Martin's Press, →ISBN:
      While the animation is often pretty awful, the "Aesop and Son" cartoons are a delight to the ear. [] [W]ithin the cartoons, he [Daws Butler] did some of the kookiest character voices he ever played, matched beautifully by Bill Scott, who costarred in all the fables. Most of them, in fact, are really dialogues between Butler and Scott, who together played what amounted to an entomologist's and zoologist's life study—an incredible range of animals.
    • 2008 June, Mary Pansini La Haye, A Wizard Sleeping on a Watermelon and Other Wondrous Sights, Mequon, Wis.: Nightengale Press, →ISBN:
      There's a KANGAROO jumping on a trampoline. / Isn't that a KOOKY thing, / To see a KANGAROO jumping on a trampoline?
    • 2009, Charlie Brooker, “In which Ethnicity is Admired for the Sake of It, Christianity is Misrepresented, and Dale Winton Threatens to Bring It on the Wall”, in The Hell of It All, London: Faber and Faber for Guardian Books, →ISBN, page 195:
      [A]s a moose-hunting former beauty queen, [Sarah] Palin is a kooky character – precisely the sort of person a producer would home in on at the auditions like a dog sniffing meat.
    • 2011, Jackie Braun, chapter 3, in Mr. Right There All Along (Harlequin Romance (Fun Factor); 4258), Toronto, New York, N.Y.: Harlequin, →ISBN:
      "I want you to eat more balanced meals and exercise more often. I don't think you need to lose weight, at least not by going on some kooky crash diet." / She brushed off his reply and started walking. "It's not kooky. [] I'm not going on a kooky diet. I plan to eat sensibly, just smaller portions, and cut out comfort food entirely."
  2. (surfing) Behaving like a kook (a person with poor style or skill); kook-like.
    • 1996, Doug Werner, Longboarder's Start-up: A Guide to Longboard Surfing (Start-up Sports; #6), San Diego, Calif.: Tracks Publishing, →ISBN, page 10:
      From Kook to Classic A new appreciation for the grace (and glory) of longboardsmanship changed the image of longboarding from kooky to classic. Longboarding became a class-act and the classic essence of the surfing lifestyle.
    • 2010, Peter Heller, Kook: What Surfing Taught Me about Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave, New York, N.Y.: Free Press, →ISBN:
      I realized that the strain of the aloha spirit that surfing was bringing out in me was extremely aggressive. [] In my third week I had a revelation. I returned to Seal Beach, where Kim was still in school with the Michaels, and paddled straight out to the pier. I looked around and realized that the lineup was all kooks. In fact, I was the least kooky. I couldn't believe it. Where was the gang?
Alternative forms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Clipping of kookaburra + -y.


kooky (plural kookies)

  1. (childish) Alternative form of kookie (kookaburra)