Really? I've heard it used metaphorically as an insult, but only when there's an obvious connection to the idea of hired muscle. (In other words, if you call a bully a "goon", you're saying that not only can he beat you up, but beating people up is all he's good for: he can't think or work for himself. If you call someone's employees or associates their "goons", you're saying that they have hired thugs instead of trained personnel.)Thank you for making that distinction! I feel like "goon" has taken on a broader meaning more recently due to use in TV, movies, etc.--this has probably led me astray .