Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.


1. Sports An incompetent or easily defeated athlete, especially a prizefighter.
2. Slang A stupid or clumsy person.

[Origin unknown.]


slang US a stupid or clumsy boxer or other person
[C20: origin uncertain]


(pəˈlu kə)

n., pl. -kas. Slang.
1. an athlete, esp. a boxer, lacking in ability or experience.
2. oaf.
[1920–25, orig. uncertain]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.palooka - a second-rate prize fighter
boxer, pugilist - someone who fights with his fists for sport
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Darling, The Faint Taste of Cat Food and Sour Milk, Front from Juneau, Gothic, Husbandry, The Last Night, Mickey Cares, No Love, Please, Once in a Blue Moon, The Pain Inside, Palooka, Room 313, Rules of Comedy, Six Billion Architects, Sold
30 stretch of Joe Palooka we enjoyed each and every game, and from this moment on it will never be the same.
They have houses for sale for $8,000, Joe Palooka comics and an ad for Wrigley's Spearmint Chewing Gum, promising to fix your hot, dry mouth.
IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN, but newsprint with its familiar, almost Proustian feel and smell is probably going the way of Li'l Abner, Joe Palooka, and Little Orphan Annie.
Charlie Goldie, Glasgow, said: "The first 45 minutes were rubbish and Fraser Forster is a big palooka who never comes off his line.
sight of dead eyes, dead eyes, dead eyes--Orphan Annie, Joe Palooka,
These include Raisin Expectations, with dark rum, sherry and homemade raisin and vanilla syrup, Thorny Issue containing gin, Crme de Mure and rhubarb bitters and the Palooka, featuring Velvet Falernum, orange bitters, sweet caramel syrup and tequila.
Net are Sea Hunt, William Tell, Tugboat Annie, U S Marshall, Treasury Men in Action, The Shadow, The Third Man, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Buccaneers, Terry and the Prirates, Steve Canyon, Sky King, Sir Lancelot, Sky King, Sheena Queen of the Jungle, Robin Hood, Riverboat, Passport to Danger, Jungle Jim, The Lawless Years, Joe Palooka, Invisible Man, Harbor Command, Hudsons Bay, Flash Gordon, Follow That Man, Fu Manchu, Federal Men, Dick Tracy, Dangerous Assignment, Count of Monte Cristo, The Cheaters, Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion, Cannonball, Bold Journey, and Adventures in Paradise.
And if you are feeling wistful about the big palooka from Campbellton, Newfoundland, don't be.
By 1950, Li'l Abner was among the top five comic strips in the United States--a group that also included Little Orphan Annie, Blondie, Dick Tracy, and Joe Palooka.
Joe Palooka debuted in April 1930 and the strip's star immediately captured the affection of US readers, who watched him evolve from a brunette bruiser into a blond, clean-cut symbol of true-blue America.
Many of the comics are from the 1930s and '40s -- and include "Prince Valiant," "Flash Gordon," "Tarzan," "Li'l Abner," "Joe Palooka," and numerous other strips.