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[dey-goh] /ˈdeɪ goʊ/
noun, plural dagos, dagoes. (often initial capital letter) Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.
a contemptuous term used to refer to a person of Italian or sometimes Spanish origin or descent.
Origin of dago
1715-25, Americanism; alteration of Diego < Spanish: a given name


[dahg-œ] /ˈdɑgˌœ/
Danish name of Hiiumaa. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dagos
Historical Examples
  • That's my little dodge, boiling water for these dagos, if they come.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • On this day a mob had been chasing the dagos, and had at length captured one.

    Whispering Smith Frank H. Spearman
  • She laughed merrily; "they live where the dagos live, in Italy, yer know, and—"

    Flamsted quarries Mary E. Waller
  • There are others who are entitled to as good a chance as the dagos, and they must have it.

    In Search of El Dorado Harry Collingwood
  • Quite a few of the dagos had knives, and Jernyngham had a sword.

    Prescott of Saskatchewan Harold Bindloss
  • The quartette of English went in, despising the "dagos," and quite intending to clear them off the ship.

    A Master of Fortune

    Cutcliffe Hyne
  • Besides, who ever saw one of the blamed dagos spending a cent at a grocery, or a notions store, or a saloon—or anywhere?

    Old Judge Priest Irvin S. Cobb
  • The crew were a mixed lot, mostly Norwegians and dagos, whom the captain had shipped at low wages.

  • And then Norris unlashed the block from the main gaff and swung it down to the "dagos," who had come alongside with their boat.

    The Voodoo Gold Trail Walter Walden
British Dictionary definitions for dagos


noun (pl) -gos, -goes
(derogatory) a member of a Latin race, esp a Spaniard or Portuguese
Word Origin
C19: alteration of Diego, a common Spanish name
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dagos



1823, from Spanish Diego "James." Originally used of Spanish or Portuguese sailors on English or American ships; by 1900 it had broadened to include non-sailors and shifted to mean chiefly "Italian." James the Greater is the patron saint of Spain, and Diego as generic for "a Spaniard" is attested from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for dagos





  1. An Italian or person of Italian descent; First used chiefly of Hispanics; noted as ''chiefly Italians'' by 1900: Hey, Fiorello, you're a dago
  2. The Italian language
  3. A person of Hispanic birth or descent

[1823+; fr Diego, ''James'' used in the 17th century to mean ''Spaniard'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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