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[gon-zoh] /ˈgɒn zoʊ/ Slang.
(of journalism, reportage, etc.) filled with bizarre or subjective ideas, commentary, or the like.
crazy; eccentric.
eccentricity, weirdness, or craziness.
Origin of gonzo
1970-75, Americanism; apparently first used in the phrase Gonzo journalism by U.S. journalist Hunter S. Thompson (born 1939); perhaps < Italian: simpleton, one easily duped (of uncertain origin) or < Spanish ganso a lazy or dull person, literally, goose (< Germanic; see goose) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gonzo
  • gonzo hasn't picked up explosiveness since last year, but his production has certainly improved.
  • Rumor has it that she will go back to gonzo features.
  • It is that you want her to deliver on her promise of a kind of gonzo expressionism, something brash and liberating.
British Dictionary definitions for gonzo


adjective (slang)
wild or crazy
(of journalism) explicitly including the writer's feelings at the time of witnessing the events or undergoing the experiences written about
noun (pl) gonzos
a wild or crazy person
Word Origin
C20: perhaps from Italian, literally: fool, or Spanish ganso idiot, bumpkin (literally: goose)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gonzo

1971, American English, in Hunter S. Thompson's phrase gonzo journalism. Thompson in 1972 said he got it from editor Bill Cardosa and explained it as "some Boston word for weird, bizarre." Probably from Italian gonzo "rude, sottish," perhaps from Spanish ganso and ultimately from the Germanic word for "goose."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for gonzo



Insane; wild; bizarre; confused; cuckoo, bananas, nutso: established Hunter Thompson as the father of gonzo journalism, a flamboyant if controversial style/ the gonzo idea of a cross-country street race


: The Gonzo and the Geeks/ These double-gaited gonzos are perpetrating a plague of best-selling takeoffs

[1971+; fr Italian, ''credulous, simple, too good'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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