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First attested in English in 1922.[1] From French gigolo (young lover kept by an older woman), first attested in that sense in 1904 (attested since 1850 in the sense “lover of a gigolette or pimp”, and since 1894 in the sense “elegant young man whose means of livelihood are dubious”),[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; type of dance; jig). More at jig.



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 Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
  2. ^ 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, page 339.
  4. 4.0 4.1 gigolo” in the Collins English Dictionary, Glasgow: HarperCollins Publishers.
  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