Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search




Alteration of diego (Spaniard), from Spanish Diego (common Spanish name) by law of Hobson-Jobson. See Mick and Jock for similar epithets.


dago (plural dagoes or dagos)

  1. (UK, slang, offensive, ethnic slur) A person of Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, or other Mediterranean descent.
  2. (US, Australia, slang, offensive, ethnic slur) A person of Italian descent.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The sense has become less pejorative in recent years, with people of Spanish or Portuguese origin themselves adopting the term.
  • Usually a sailor or deckhand. "diego" is the Portuguese nickname for any deckhand and "jack" is the British equivalent.[Citation needed]
  • The sense has become more pejorative in recent years, having been considered more acceptable at the start of the 20th century. In the Upper Midwest region of the United States, the term is still used for several Italian-inspired food items with no apparent pejorative connotation.
  • The word is used in the term "dago dazzler" (see w:Dago dazzler)



  • (person of Italian descent): Eyetie
  • (person of Italian descent): goombah
  • (person of Italian descent): greaseball
  • (person of Italian descent): guido
  • (person of Italian descent): guinea
  • (person of Italian descent): wog
  • (person of Italian descent): wop