Talk:Goon Squad (disambiguation)

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Meaning[edit]

Goon Squad as explained to me by my grandfather Charles Teodor Hansson (also spelled Hansen) who was the press foreman and union organizer at the San Francisco Examiner goes back to the days when William Randolf Hearst had thugs to discourage the union movement at his printing plant on 3rd & Stevenson, San Francisco. The Examiner at the time carried Popeye comics and Alice the Goon was a new character. My grandfather organized his own squad of locals to retaliate. This lead Hearst, who always referred to my grandfather as 'The Swede,' to 'inform' the public about the union's use of 'Goon Squads' to terrorize workers. So my understanding is that 'goon' term originally was to demonize union 'protection' squads (who were most likely doing the same things as management hired thugs). FAHansson (talk) 22:36, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Good info. I've heard the union usage before, but note that the word "thug" (in strict definition) isn't the same as a "goon." Originally a "goon" was someone that was hired muscle (like with the union combats). In the Western sense a thug was a far older word but originally was a specific kind of criminal (someone that attacked caravans). In the Eastern sense "thugs" (actually Thugee) were a religious cult that killed foreign traders. Although people in the modern U.S. use the words interchangeably this is being done out of ignorance (both words have involved criminals but they have specific definitions that don't overlap). Since this is an encyclopedia we have to try to be as specific & accurate as we can. The word has been removed from the definition on the page for "goon" so please refer to the discussion page there if you'd like to discuss the matter. 24.145.157.81 (talk) 00:47, 4 November 2011 (UTC)