Etymology: According to Herbert Asbury in his book The Barbary Coast: An Informal History of the San Francisco Underworld (1933, A. A. Knopf, New York), the word originated in San Francisco during the 19th century from the call of a particular street gang, "huddle 'em". San Francisco newspapers thereafter took to calling gangs generally "hoodlums".The word early evolved into the shortened form "hood", especially during the 1920's. Gangsters were often referred to as "hoods".
- a gangster; a hired thug
- a rough or violent youth
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Full Definition of hoodlum