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From Middle English mongrel, equivalent to mong (mixture) +‎ -rel (pejorative diminutive); from Old English ġemong (mingling) (whence Modern English among), from Proto-Germanic *mang- (mix).[1]


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈmʌŋ.ɡɹəl/, /ˈmɒŋ.ɡɹəl/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈmɑŋ.ɡɹəl/, /ˈmʌŋ.ɡɹəl/
  • (file)


mongrel (plural mongrels)

  1. (often derogatory) Someone or something of mixed kind or uncertain origin, especially a dog.
    Synonyms: bitsa, bitser, bitzer (UK, Australia, New Zealand), cur, mutt, tyke (dialectal), Heinz 57
    Hyponym: moggy (of a cat)
    That dog is a mongrel; who knows what breed it could be!
    • 2001 September 26, Anna Quindlen, “A Quilt of a Country”, in Newsweek[1]:
      America is an improbable idea. A mongrel nation built of ever-changing disparate parts, it is held together by a notion, the notion that all men are created equal, though everyone knows that most men consider themselves better than someone.
  2. (slang, Australia, New Zealand) A thuggish, obnoxious, or contemptible person; (often preceded by "poor") a pitiable person.
    Synonym: bastard
    • (Can we date this quote by Maurie Fields and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      This poor mongrel's sitting in a bar, you see...
    • 2008, Jim Brigginshaw, Over My Dead Body, page 77,
      "Yanto bloody Evans!" Jack stuttered with rage. "Yanto bloody Evans! That... that... bloody mongrel! D'you know who he is? He's the one who knocked me back for a bit of extra timber before the roof fell in on me!"

Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ mongrel” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.