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.

Origin of dago

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


  1. Danish name of Hiiumaa.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dagos

Historical Examples of dagos

  • That's my little dodge, boiling water for these Dagos, if they come.


    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.

British Dictionary definitions for dagos


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

Word Origin for dago

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 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