goon squad goon squad goon squad

Somewhere in the first Presidential “debate”, or its immediate surrounding net discussion, the phrase goon squad appeared and seized my attention, so that I repeated it like a mantra. I was in the grip of onomatomania


Logo of the League of Legends South African esports team Goon Squad

goon and goon squad. Brief intro on goon from NOAD:

noun gooninformal 1 a silly, foolish, or eccentric person 2 chiefly North American a bully or thug, especially one hired to terrorize or do away with opposition: a squad of goons waving pistols

And then on goon squad, from Wikipedia:

In the United States, a goon squad is a group of criminals or mercenaries commonly associated with either pro-union violence or anti-union violence In the case of pro-union violence, a goon squad may be formed by union leaders to intimidate or assault non-union workers, strikebreakers, or parties who do not cooperate with the directives of union leadership. In the case of anti-union violence, goon squads are traditionally hired by employers as an attempt at union busting, and resort to many of the same tactics, including intimidation, espionage, and assault.

During the labor unrest of the late 19th century in the United States, businessmen hired Pinkerton agent goon squads to infiltrate unions, and as guards to keep strikers and suspected unionists out of factories. One of the best known such confrontations was the Homestead Strike of 1892, in which Pinkerton agents were called in to enforce the strikebreaking measures of Henry Clay Frick, acting on behalf of Andrew Carnegie, who was abroad; the ensuing conflicts between Pinkerton agents and striking workers led to several deaths on both sides. The Pinkertons were also used as guards in coal, iron, and lumber disputes in Illinois, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania, as well as the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.

… The term “goon” was reputedly coined by F. L. Allen in 1921, perhaps a variant of the US slang “gooney” which had been around since at least 1872, meaning a simpleton or fool, which may have derived from “gony”, applied by sailors to the albatross and similar big, clumsy birds (c.1839). In the late 1930s, E. C. Segar’s comic strip Popeye had a character named “Alice the Goon”. It was from this character that large stupid people or stupid things came to popularly be called “goons” and the term entered into general use.”Goon” evolved into slang for a thug (1938), someone hired by racketeers to terrorize political or industrial opponents (1938), a German stalag guard for American POWs (1945).

onomatomania. From my 11/27/19 posting “At the onomatomania dinette”:

Zippy compulsively repeats a phrase he finds in some way attractive or pleasing, starting with the name of the diner he’s in: Do-Nut Dinette... This repetition, treating the phrase as a kind of mantra, has come up in Zippy strips under various names; see my 10/3/17 posting “Repetitive phrase disorder”, with several alternative labels for “Word attraction extended to the phrase level and made into a satisfying (though compulsive) verbal routine.” — of which onomatomania is my current favorite.

(the full set: found mantras, onomatomania, phrase repetition disorder, repetitive phrase disorder)

6 Responses to “goon squad goon squad goon squad”

  1. Sim Aberson Says:

    Which reminds me of Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad.

  2. Brian Ashurst Says:

    The Goon Show, an ancient British comedy enjoyed during the 1950s, may be found on YouTube and continues to enjoy repeats on BBC4 Extra. The Goons (Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe) for ever changed radio farce and led to Monty Python and other crazy shows.

  3. Max Vasilatos Says:

    This all looks fine, I’m hoping the changes to wordpress have stopped being a dealbreaking bother? Yes.

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