from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Chiefly British Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a person of color, especially a person from northern Africa or western or southern Asia.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any dark-skinned person. Most commonly used to refer to people of Indian, North African, Mediterranean, or Middle Eastern ancestry.
  • n. A person of Southern European, Mediterranean (especially Italian, Lebanese, and Greek people), or Middle Eastern ancestry or in some cases, Eastern European ancestry (compare wop).
  • n. Abbreviation of polliwog
  • n. Short for pollywog, or a sailor who has never crossed the Equator. Often referred to as either filthy, slimy, or even dirty wogs
  • n. A minor illness, a bug, an insect or parasite.
  • n. an acronym for "Without Goals", i.e. a person who is not a Scientologist.
  • n. WOG = water-oil-gas, typically marked on valves indicating acceptable for use with these fluids.
  • v. To steal.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (offensive British slang) term used by the British to refer to people of color from Africa or Asia


Probably short for golliwog.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Perhaps an abbreviation of golliwog. (Wiktionary)
Abbreviation of polliwog. (Wiktionary)
Unknown. (Wiktionary)
Initialism, coined by L. Ron Hubbard. (Wiktionary)
Initialism. (Wiktionary)
Unknown. (Wiktionary)


  • For the term wog, I recommend John Masters 'Bhowani Junction (see below).

    In The Prison of His days

  • And I stick by the term wog from the bog - I had no intention of offending anybody, I just think its funny.

    Irish Blogs

  • In any case, the origin of the word wog is unknown.

    Telegraph Blogs

  • My dad's an unbelievably positive person, but I do know that he was called a wog, and probably had a hard time at work, and could speak very little "Inguish".

    Home | Mail Online

  • The word 'wog' is a uniquely English one, although today it is an apt description of my status as an American if not a good description of how I feel.

    Hooman Majd: An American Wog on July 4th

  • He -- actually I think humorously-- treated the great Indian ornithologist Salim Ali like a "wog" Ali, a sane man who considered M. a friend, found it funnier than not in his autobiography.

    Archive 2006-05-01

  • It was an article that basically maintained that my dear friend Joseph Massad is a "wog" who has gone too far, and that he has to behave himself, and act like a submissive Arab living in the West.

    Saturday, April 30, 2005

  • When my grandfather got called a wog it wasn’t meant as a joke.

    Cheeseburger Gothic » Poor Harry

  • I didn't know what 'wog' meant, I just knew that it would upset him and so I said it.

    Word Magazine - Comments

  • Far from the "wog" brand losing value, Giannopoulos found, through the wonders of "the Facebook" (his term), that the cultural connection to his name is all the stronger.

    The Age News Headlines


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  • (see also conversation on wogball)

    August 4, 2009

  • "The word is often mistakenly thought to be an acronym. What the acronym supposedly stands for, however, varies in the telling:
    * Westernized Oriental Gentleman
    * Worthy Oriental Gentleman
    * Wily Oriental Gentleman
    * Wonderful Oriental Gentleman
    * Working On Government Service
    This last comes with a legend that wogs was stenciled on the shirts of workmen along the Suez Canal. The story and the acronymic origin, however, are false."

    August 4, 2009