A hoodlum is basically a bad person, or at least a person who has fallen into bad company. A hoodlum is a person who commits crime and engages in violence. Hoodlum is basically synonymous with gangster or a thug. A hoodlum can also refer to a violent youth, who shows aggression or aggressive behavior.
A hoodlum can basically be a person who hangs around with a gang, who exerts aggressive behavior and does not follow the law. A hoodlum is a lawless youth, who may or may not also be a petty gangster.
Generally, hoodlums are loud, aggressive, and violent. They may be part of a gang, or in a group who is usually into bad behavior. They may be into petty crimes such as theft or vandalism, or they may be involved in gangs, shootouts and armed robberies.
There is no clear reference as to where the term hoodlum came from, but it is believed to be a corruption of the German word “hudelum”, which meant ‘ragamuffin’. The word hoodlum was first used in 1866. Hoodlum can be used synonymously with hooligan, thug.