In Australia (and seemingly New Zealand), "hoon" is actually used quite liberally (despite being informal), from media to law and parliament. Essentially it describes a person who partakes in the act of "hooning" - driving at high speeds or doing donuts, etc.

hoon Australian/NZ informal

noun 1. a lout or hooligan, especially a young man who drives recklessly.
"The whole family was wiped out because some drunken hoon had to drive his car"

verb 1. behave in a loutish way, especially by driving recklessly.
"She noticed people hooning around Ohariu Valley"

Source: Google/Oxford

What - if any - word is used in place of "hoon" in the UK, USA, Canada or anywhere else?

  • MacMillan Dictionary suggests the following synonyms. macmillandictionary.com/thesaurus-category/british/… – user66974 Jan 11 '17 at 11:06
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    If the noun is specifically about drivers rather than perpetrators of other loutish behaviour, i think BE would be 'boy racer'. For the verb form, I think we've just adopted 'hooning', its certainly the word i'd expect to hear in that context in Scotland. – Spagirl Jan 11 '17 at 11:36
  • Driving wildly is sometimes referred to "hot dogging" in the US. – Hot Licks Jan 11 '17 at 13:15
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    For perspective, as a long-time native AmE speaker, 1) I've never heard/seen this word before and 2) I don't think there is a corresponding word for exactly this thing and 3) The concept is obvious: 'reckless driving' is what you call it but it doesn't have the punch as the special word 'hoon' – Mitch Jan 11 '17 at 13:42
  • As a long-time native BrE speaker, I've never come across the word either. – Kate Bunting Jan 11 '17 at 15:40

There are several possibilities, often with regional variants, but one that has been in common British use for some time is the word Yobbo.

Derived from yob which is backslang for boy, it describes any unsociable, often aggressive, young male.

You do nowadays also hear the variant yoblet - small yob - emphasizing the age of the individual.

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    For me, "yobbo" does not have the same driving implication as "hoon". But if someone said "driving like a yobbo", I would know exactly what they meant. – Christy Jan 11 '17 at 13:53
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    I think "yobbo" is a good word, but I agree with Christy that it doesn't have the precise connotation that "hoon" has. – Dog Lover Jan 12 '17 at 0:23
  • As above - so I think you have to say something like boy-racer yob. – k1eran Jan 12 '17 at 1:05

For fast driving in particular, there's the term speed demon:

someone who likes to drive very fast
Macmillan Dictionary

There's also the term joyride, which can describe reckless driving (use 2):

  1. a ride taken for pleasure (as in a car or aircraft); especially : an automobile ride marked by reckless driving (as in a stolen car)
  2. conduct or action resembling a joyride especially in disregard of cost or consequences

Urban Dictionary also covers this meaning in listings #3 and 4.

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    In U.K./Ireland joyriders normally reserved for describing car-thieves who drive recklessly for thrills in stolen cars, rather that those doing so with their own vehicles. – k1eran Jan 12 '17 at 1:02

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