from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A tough and aggressive or violent youth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person that causes trouble or violence.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To play the hooligan.
  • To assault in the manner of the hooligans.
  • n. Originally, a member of a South London gang of young street rowdies said to have been led by one named Hooligan, who indulged in boisterous horseplay and breaches of the peace; hence, any street ruffian, especially one who is a member of an organized gang; a ‘hoodlum.’

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a cruel and brutal fellow


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Origin unknown.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Almost certainly from the surname Houlihan.


  • 1 What do you call a hooligan on a mobility scooter?

    The Guardian World News

  • There was no interest in fighting, or engaging in any so-called hooligan behaviour.

    Sober Second Thoughts: Send in the clowns

  • Victor, the thought of you being called a hooligan is cracking me up Thanks for sharing your interesting perspective.

    Twenty years ago today… « Musings from an overworked translator

  • McQueen was known as a hooligan of high fashion because of the way he barreled through life, thumbing his nose at popular convention.

    NPR Topics: News

  • Also known as hooligan, few eulachon have returned to the Burroughs Bay area since 2003.


  • A football firm (also known as a hooligan firm) is a gang formed to fight with members supporters from other clubs.

    Listal promoted

  • Mixing his tailoring skills with outrageous sensibilities, Mr. McQueen, dubbed the "hooligan" of British fashion, quickly became a sensation.

    A Fashion Star Leaves the Stage

  • The origin of its current usage is currently unknown but is widely believed to be a shortened form of "hooligan".

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • • An under age criminal must now be called a "child at risk", so that he does not become traumatized by the word "hooligan".

    [political correctness] and the coming backlash

  • Mr. Hampton and the cast cycled through dozens of English phrases for the French word "caractériel," someone who relishes in behaving badly, including "self-centered brute," "hooligan," "delinquent."

    Turning Paris Into Brooklyn


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • The term "hooligan" has a disputed derivation, but it is generally accepted to have begun to appear in London police reports in 1898 in relation to violent street gangs.

    Writer, Clarence Rook (1862-1915) wrote a book entitled The Hooligan Nights which was about a young criminal’s story told in his own words.

    In this account, Rook wrote: “There was but a few years ago, a man called Patrick Hooligan, who walked to and fro among his fellow men, robbing and occasionally bashing them.�?

    January 24, 2008

  • Haha! Oily birds aren't quite as funny, of course. :-(

    January 17, 2008

  • Well, like they say: The oily fish gets the worm.

    January 17, 2008

  • Wow. That must be one oily fish.

    January 16, 2008

  • Also a colloquial name for the mighty eulachon, or Thaleichthys pacificus, an anadromous smelt of the north Pacific. It is also called the candlefish because, as Wikipedia tells us, "if caught, dried, and strung on a wick, it can be burned as a candle."

    I can only imagine how that was discovered.

    January 16, 2008