gonzo (adj.)

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 (Neapolitan) gonzo "rude, sottish," a word of unknown origin, perhaps from Spanish ganso and ultimately from the Germanic word for "goose" (see goose (n.)). The Muppets character so called debuted in 1970, but not with the name, which seems to have developed after Thompson's use of the word.

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