• synonyms


noun, plural da·gos, da·goes. (often initial capital letter) Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.
  1. a contemptuous term used to refer to a person of Italian or sometimes Spanish origin or descent.
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Origin of dago

1715–25, Americanism; alteration of Diego < Spanish: a given name


  1. Danish name of Hiiumaa.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dago

Historical Examples

  • Let the Dago come on board, too; the gentleman here says he's a good sort.


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • The fellow was a Dago of immense strength and of no sense whatever.


    Joseph Conrad

  • "If you weren't Irish, you'd just naturally be Dago," he said with a laugh.

    The Lure of the Mask

    Harold MacGrath

  • It was this the British sailor expressed in his answer to the question "What is a Dago?"

  • We talked in Dago, but I'll give the English of it, so's not to appear to be showing off.

    IT and Other Stories

    Gouverneur Morris

British Dictionary definitions for dago


noun plural -gos or -goes
  1. derogatory a member of a Latin race, esp a Spaniard or Portuguese
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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

Word Origin and History for dago


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper