Alteration of diego (“Spaniard”), from Spanish Diego (“common Spanish name”) by law of Hobson-Jobson. See Johnnie and Jock for similar epithets.
dago (plural dagoes or dagos)
- (UK, slang, offensive) A person of Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, or other Mediterranean descent.
- (US, Australia, slang, offensive) A person of Italian descent.
- The sense has become less pejorative in recent years, with people of Spanish or Portuguese origin themselves adopting the term.
- Usually a sailor or deckhand. "diego" is the Portuguese nickname for any deckhand and "jack" is the British equivalent.[Citation needed]
- The sense has become more pejorative in recent years, having been considered more acceptable at the start of the 20th century. In the Upper Midwest region of the United States, the term is still used for several Italian-inspired food items with no apparent pejorative connotation.
- The word is used in the term "dago dazzler" (see w:Dago dazzler)