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

The raising of /ɔ/ ( → /ɒ/) to /u/ ( → /ʌ/) is regular between /m/ and /ŋ/; compare among, monger.



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 (2001–2023), “mongrel”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. ^ The Chambers Dictionary, 9th Ed., 2003
  3. ^ mongrel”, in Collins English Dictionary.