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First attested in English in 1922.[1] From French gigolo(young lover kept by an older woman)[2] (first attested in that sense in 1901; attested since 1894 in the sense "elegant young man whose means of livelihood are dubious", and since 1850 in the sense "lover of a gigolette or pimp"),[2][3], a back-formation from gigolette(promiscuous dancing girl, girl available for hire as a dancing partner)[4] (attested since 1850), from giguer(to dance), from gigue(fiddle).



gigolo (plural gigolos)

  1. A man who has a sexual relationship with a woman from whom he receives payment.
  2. A hired escort or dancing partner for a woman.
    • 1929, Irving Caesar, "Just a Gigolo" lyrics:
      I'm just a gigolo / And everywhere I go / People know the part I'm playin' / Paid for every dance / Sellin' each romance / Ooh, what they're sayin'




  1. 1.0 1.1 gigolo”, in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1996–.
  2. 2.0 2.1 gigolo” in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).
  3. ^ Dictionnaire étymologique et historique du français (Larousse Références, ISBN 2-03-710228-3), page 339
  4. 4.0 4.1 gigolo”, in the Collins English Dictionary (
  5. ^ Macmillan American English Dictionary, online
  6. 6.0 6.1 Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, online
  7. ^ Collins American English Dictionary, online
  8. ^ Macmillan British English Dictionary, online
  9. ^ Harrap's Shorter Dictionary, 8th Edition, page 389