AskDefine | Define hooligan

Dictionary Definition

hooligan n : a cruel and brutal fellow [syn: bully, tough, ruffian, roughneck, rowdy, yob, yobo, yobbo]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /ˈhu.lə.gən/, /"hu.l@.g@n/


  1. informal pejorative A person that causes trouble or violence.


person that causes trouble or violence

See also




Extensive Definition

Hooliganism refers to unruly and destructive behaviour. Such behaviour is commonly associated with sports fans, particularly supporters of professional football and university sports. In some countries, the hooligan elements of a group of supporters are known as Category C. The term can also apply to general rowdy behaviour and vandalism, often under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


The term has been used since at least the 1890s, to describe the behaviour of street gangs. The first use of the term is unknown, but it appeared in an 1898 London police report. One theory is that the word came from the name of an Irish hoodlum from Southwark, London named Patrick Hoolihan. There has also been reference made to a 19th century family by that name who lived in rural Ireland, known for their wild lifestyle, resulting in anyone who lived similarly as being referred to as a hooligan. Another theory is that it came from a street gang in Islington named Hooley. Yet another theory is that the term is based on an Irish word, Hooley, which means a wild, spirited party..

Russia and Argentina

In the Soviet Union, hooliganism (хулиганство) was made a criminal offence under the penal codes of the Soviet republics. Article 213 of the penal code defined hooliganism as "any deliberate behaviour which violates public order and expresses explicit disrespect towards the society." This law was often used by Soviet authorities against political dissidents. Hooliganism is still covered under the criminal and administrative codes of Russia, and is applicable to persons at least 16 years old. Hooliganism is graded into Malicious hooliganism (злостное хулиганство), hooliganism (хулиганство), and Petty hooliganism (мелкое хулиганство). Petty hooliganism is "subject to administrative proceedings" (roughly equivalent to application of the civil law) and classified as roughly equivalent to an infraction. It is mostly applied to minor street disorders and fighting by urban youth. Malicious hooliganism is defined as being committed "with extraordinary cynicism, with resistance to law enforcement, with usage of arms or attempt thereof, or committed by a recidivist."
In Argentina, most sports-related hooliganism is associated with football and barras bravas groups. However at times it is also seen at other sports, such as rugby and basketball. During the period of military rule in the 1970s and early 1980s, hooligans were used by the government to attack pro-democracy protesters overseas. Since then they have been occasionally used by football club owners to attack business or political opponents..

Further reading

  • Everywhere We GO - Dougie Brimson
  • Barmy Army Dougie Brimson
  • Eurotrashed Dougie Brimson
  • Kicking Off Dougie Brimson
  • Rebellion Dougie Brimson
  • March of the Hooligans Dougie Brimson
  • Among the Thugs
  • Red Army General: Leading Britain's Biggest Hooligan Gang
  • The Family Game: The Untold Story of Hooliganism in Rugby League
  • Hooliganism: Crime, Culture and Power in St. Petersburg, 1900-14
  • The Frontline
  • Ten reasons why there are no hooligans in Great Britain
  • City Psychos: From the Monte Carlo Mob to the Silver Cod Squad
  • Flying With the Owls Crime Squad
  • Blades Business Crew

External links

hooligan in Asturian: Hooligans
hooligan in Czech: Hooligans
hooligan in Corsican: Hooligan
hooligan in Danish: Hooliganisme
hooligan in German: Hooligan
hooligan in Spanish: Hooligan (fútbol)
hooligan in Esperanto: Huligano
hooligan in French: Hooligan
hooligan in Italian: Hooligan
hooligan in Hebrew: חוליגניות
hooligan in Dutch: Hooligan
hooligan in Japanese: フーリガン
hooligan in Norwegian: Hooliganisme
hooligan in Polish: Chuligan
hooligan in Portuguese: Hooliganismo
hooligan in Russian: Хулиганство
hooligan in Scots: Neddism
hooligan in Finnish: Huliganismi
hooligan in Swedish: Huliganism
hooligan in Ukrainian: Хуліганство
hooligan in Walloon: Woliganisse
hooligan in Chinese: 球迷骚乱

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Babbitt, Philistine, SOB, arriviste, bad boy, bastard, battler, belligerent, belted knight, bickerer, blade, booger, boor, bounder, bourgeois, bravo, brawler, bruiser, buffoon, bugger, bully, bullyboy, cad, churl, clown, combatant, competitor, contender, contestant, creep, cutup, devil, disputant, duelist, elf, enfant terrible, enforcer, epicier, fart, fencer, feuder, fighter, fighting cock, foilsman, funmaker, gamecock, gladiator, goon, gorilla, groundling, gun, gunsel, guttersnipe, hatchet man, heel, hellion, holy terror, hood, hoodlum, ill-bred fellow, imp, jerk, joker, jokester, jouster, knave, knight, little devil, little monkey, little rascal, looby, louse, lout, low fellow, meanie, militant, minx, mischief, mischief-maker, mother, mucker, mug, mugger, muscle man, nouveau riche, parvenu, peasant, pill, pixie, plug-ugly, practical joker, prankster, puck, quarreler, rapscallion, rascal, rat, ribald, rioter, rival, rodman, rogue, rough, roughneck, rowdy, ruffian, sabreur, scamp, scapegrace, scrapper, scuffler, shit, shithead, shitheel, squabbler, stinkard, stinker, strong arm, strong-arm man, strong-armer, struggler, swashbuckler, sword, swordplayer, swordsman, terror, thug, tilter, torpedo, tough, trigger man, turd, tussler, ugly customer, upstart, vulgarian, vulgarist, wag, wrangler, yokel
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