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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. In the Upper Midwest region of the United States, the term is used for several Italian-inspired food items with no apparent pejorative connotation.
  • Usually a sailor or deckhand. "Diego" is the Portuguese nickname for any deckhand and "jack" is the British equivalent.
  • 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