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November 11, 2003, 20:52
I came across the word "hood", which I haven't seen for a good long time. I realize that it comes from "hoodlum", but the etymology for "hoodlum" seems to be "unknown."

When I was a little girl, the "hoods" were the bad teenagers. I am wondering if "hood" or "hoodlum" might come from "neighborhood"; that is, maybe the bad kids hang around in the same "hood", thus the word "hoodlum"? Does anyone know?
November 11, 2003, 22:53
The Word Detective gives a couple of suggestions and debunks them.
Mr. Rawson's best guess as to the true source of "hooligan" is the Bavarian word "Huddellump," meaning "a slovenly person," a theory that fits with the fact that at the time "hoodlum" first appeared, German immigrants were the largest non-English-speaking minority in San Francisco.

November 12, 2003, 09:09
I heard that hooligan was of Irish derivation.

OED2 says: "hooligan.
"Origin unascertained.
The word first appears in print in daily newspaper police- court reports in the summer of 1898. Several accounts of the rise of the word, purporting to be based on first-hand evidence, attribute it to a misunderstanding or perversion of Hooley or Hooley's gang, but no positive confirmation of this has been discovered. The name Hooligan figured in a music-hall song of the eighteen-nineties, which described the doings of a rowdy Irish family, and a comic Irish character of the name appeared in a series of adventures in Funny Folks."