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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]



mongrel (plural mongrels)

  1. (often derogatory) Someone or something of mixed kind or uncertain origin, especially a dog.
    Synonyms: bitsa, bitser, (UK, Australia, New Zealand) bitzer, cur, mutt, (dialectal) tyke, Heinz 57
    Hyponym: (of a cat) moggy
    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
    • 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!"
    • 2019 October 27, Natalie Wolfe, “Australia's worst serial killer's affairs with sisters-in-laws”, in New Zealand Herald[2]:
      But somebody's got to tell these mums and dads why their kids died, why this mongrel thinks he can wipe them out like a dirty rag.
  3. (slang, Australia) An erect penis; an erection.

Related terms[edit]



mongrel (comparative more mongrel, superlative most mongrel)

  1. Of mixed breed, nature, or origin; of or like a mongrel.
    English spelling is often regarded as confusing and unpredictable due to the mongrel nature of our tongue.



  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “mongrel”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. ^ The Chambers Dictionary, 9th Ed., 2003
  3. ^ mongrel”, in Collins English Dictionary.