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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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dago
Historical Examples
  • We'll sing when the music-box plays songs, and you and dago can dance when it plays waltzes.

    The Story of Dago Annie Fellows-Johnston
  • Let the dago come on board, too; the gentleman here says he's a good sort.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • His attitude of impassive politeness nettled her far more than the alert hostility of the dago Duke whom she saw occasionally.

    The Lady Doc Caroline Lockhart
  • The fellow was a dago of immense strength and of no sense whatever.

    Victory Joseph Conrad
  • "It may be a dago after all," suggested "Bill," glancing from the port.

    A Gunner Aboard the "Yankee" Russell Doubleday
  • "If you weren't Irish, you'd just naturally be dago," he said with a laugh.

    The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath
  • I'll blow over and mix with the dago bunch, an' practice sittin' on my heels.

    The Mucker Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • It was this the British sailor expressed in his answer to the question "What is a dago?"

  • dago Joe was missing, and the others had had about all the rum they could stand.

    The Flying Bo'sun Arthur Mason
  • I knew there'd be nothin' doin' for him if he came as a dago.

    The Four Million

    O. Henry
British Dictionary definitions for dago


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 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.

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



  1. (also daisy-clipper) A grounder or very low line drive (1866+ Baseball)
  2. A very low tennis shot (1897+ Tennis)
  3. A horse that trots with its hooves near the ground (1791+)
  4. An antipersonnel bomb or mine that ejects shrapnel close to the ground (WWII Army)
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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