palooka

palooka

[puh-loo-kuh]
noun Slang.
1.
an athlete, especially a boxer, lacking in ability, experience, or competitive spirit.
2.
a stupid, clumsy person.

Origin:
1920–25, Americanism; origin uncertain

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World English Dictionary
palooka (pəˈluːkə)
 
n
slang (US) a stupid or clumsy boxer or other person
 
[C20: origin uncertain]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

palooka
"mediocre prizefighter," 1925, of unknown origin, credited to U.S. sportswriter and humorist Jack Conway. Non-boxing sense of "average person" is from Joe Palooka, hero of Ham Fisher's comic strip.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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