|(Berry-Thomson) A sort of parody of the BBC's Goon Show [slapstick but intelligent comedy]. It was built up from the name, which in turn came from a holograph letter from Ken Potter apparently addressed to "Goon Bleary" -- i.e., John Berry. The possibilities of this as a faname were immediately obvious. John and Art Thomson used "Goon Bleary" to establish the GDA, as chronicled in its Official Organ, RETRIBUTION. GDA Ops are located in all portions of the globe, and will handle any conceivable problem and some you probably never heard of before in return for an international currency. James White has written of a secret antagonist, Antigoon, who may doubtless be saddled with responsibility for any of the GDA's rare failures.
The term can be traced to the Popeye comic strip in the early 30s, where Alice the Goon was a hulking monster noted for brawn, not brains. During the labor troubles in the woods during the 30s the unions used squads of plug-uglies to attack strikebreakers and non-union workers. These were called goon squads. Gradually the term spread nationally, with the connotation of shock troops used in labor struggles; afterward taking on the meaning of any person of strong back & weak mind, and then the implication of exceptional eccentricity that it holds in the GDA's title.