from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A stupid, oafish or clumsy person.
  • n. Someone incompetent or untalented in the specified area.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a second-rate prize fighter


Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Possibly, from Polish surname Paluka, or variant of Polack. (Wiktionary)



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  • Yes. We let him think that. ;->

    October 29, 2009

  • Also, he has no nipples. (By his own claim.)

    October 28, 2009

  • Not our palooka. Our palooka is a gracious, amusing, but steely-eyed leader of Wordie Treatment battles. :-)

    October 28, 2009

  • from
    Slang: a clumsy or oafish fellow, esp. an inept athlete

    October 27, 2009

  • This is on the National Spelling Bee Master Word List, under words that occur frequently. Origin unknown, if memory serves.

    September 26, 2008