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This is a link to a video by an Australian Current Affairs program which examines the word “Wogs” and it’s use in modern Australia. I'm new to Wikipedia and don't know if it's ellegiable to be put into the article or not? if somebody can answer this or tell me where I can find it it would be very helpful, Thank you in advance Stef108 (talk) 22:25, 23 April 2008 (UTC)


File:Leon genua.jpg
Typical Wog

I removed the jpg image at the top of the article entitled "leon_genua" and captioned as a "Typical Wog" because it looked to me to be a personal insult and probably vandalism. If I am somehow mistaken in this assumption, please feel free to correct it and replace. (I've preserved the exact code in this post.)

-- B Rea, 14 July 2007

"The word wog is a vile, vulgar, racist slur popularized and first used in England. The best known sentence employing this put-down brims with political irony: “The wogs begin at Calais.” George Wigg, a Labour party MP, said it in 1945 to characterize and satirize the attitude of British Tories to foreigners. Calais was and sometimes still is the first port of France that a vacationing Brit encounters when venturing into continental Europe. The sentiment made the British laugh and fitted their racism perfectly, with its implication that all non-British persons in the world constituted 'a bunch of bloody wogs.' " Acknowlegement and thanks to Bill Casselman for permission to use the excerpt above.

(William Gordon Casselman is a Canadian author of 11 books on etymology, Canadian language, and folk sayings, including "A Dictionary of Medical Derivations:The True Meaning of Medical Words.")

  • Herewith a historical account of Wigg's wog coinage:
  • It was easier for Labour to acquire the sinews of power than it was to exercise it. In 1945, Attlee inherited all the pre-war problems of the Middle East: the worsening Arab Jewish conflict; the simmering resentment of the Egyptians against alien domination; and the widespread feeling that Britain was the greatest hindrance to Arab national aspirations and unity. Labour was instinctively sympathetic to liberation movements; it was an internationalist, progressive party which thought itself in harmony with the trends of the modern world. The Conservatives were locked into the past and hosts to atavistic concepts of racial superiority and thinly disguised xenophobia. During a debate in which the subject of the Burmese came up, the volatile George Wigg shouted at the Tory benches, ‘The Honourable Gentleman and his friends think they are all “wogs”. Indeed, the Right Honourable Member for Woodford [Churchill] thinks that the “wogs” begin at Calais.’
  • —Lawrence James, The Rise and Fall of British Empire, St. Martin’s Press, 1994, pp. 559-560
  • Larvatus 08:46, 16 March 2006 (UTC)larvatus

The word 'wog' is still quite offensive to a lot of people in Australia (depending on context and who is uttering the word) – particularly people of non-anglo origin who grew up in the 50's 60's and 70's in Australia. In those times the word was usually used as a racist slur or insult. Its use was usually preceded by a word such as "dirty", "greasy" or an expletive of choice such as, "f%#*ing".

In fact, in Australia, the word is still used in that way if someone wants to insult someone of Greek, Italian, Arabic etc origin. For example, preceding the Sydney race riots of December 2005 text messages were sent that said things like, "Tommorrow is bash a wog day".

Clearly, the word 'wog' has a long history as a derogatory, demeaning and racist slur in Australia. For many people, it still retains that meaning, so it should be used with caution! To the younger generation of non-anglo saxons it seems to be less offensive, but the context of its use should always be considered. Some people think that its meaning is changing and that it may be losing some of its negative connotations.

False Origins of the Word Wog[edit]

" Wog is considered by some people to be an acronym, standing for such phrases as:

Wily Oriental Gentleman

Worthy Oriental Gentleman

Westernized Oriental Gentleman

Wonderful Oriental Gentleman

Working On Government Service

That last unproven example was supposedly printed on the back of shirts worn by Suez Canal workers. Yet no proof, not a scrap of evidentiary historical residua exists to support these claims. No Suez shirt bearing such a phrase has ever come to auction.

In all the files about all the various insulting names under which oriental persons have laboured throughout western history, there is no record whatsoever of documents, letters, artifacts or memorabilia with such phrases short-formed. No person has ever brought forward and presented as evidence a single item with 'Worthy Oriental Gentleman' stamped upon it. Not once."

Acknowlegement and thanks to Bill Casselman for permission to use the excerpt above. (William Gordon Casselman is a Canadian author of 11 books on etymology, Canadian language, and folk sayings, including "A Dictionary of Medical Derivations:The True Meaning of Medical Words.")

Worker Of the Government is another version I've heard for the UK usage.--MartinUK (talk) 20:09, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
The definition of WOG as "Worthy Oriental Gentleman" appears in a Biggles book, I believe "Biggles in the Orient", published 1945. (talk) 01:56, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Suez Canal[edit]

It's worth mentioning that the British weren't involved with the building of the Suez Canal - that option is only the most believable in relative terms, since none of the acronym derivations make sense except as myth making after the fact. PML.

On the origin question, it is perhaps interesting that in the seagoing use polywogs are "accepted into" society as shellbacks. This may be the origin of the "not one of us" meaning of wog. Or not. I've no data beyond noting the convenient coincidence of meaning. JamesDay 05:53, 12 Sep 2003 (UTC)


From Aussie movies/TV, I got the the impression a wog was a ?Greek? or something. Any Australians want to clarify in article? Tristanb

Italians and Greeks, as the article suggests, are most commonly referred to as 'wogs', however because of Australia's large Greek population, it's easy to see how they could appear to be the only ones who are called 'wogs'. Also, I can't reference any movies where an Italian is referred to as a 'wog'--but I assure you that when it comes down to it, Greeks aren't the only ones to whom the term has been applied. Vague Rant 09:55, Sep 6, 2004 (UTC)
My school, in a highly Italian area of Perth, was jokingly called 'wog central' because of the high numbers of Italians. The main reason people associate 'wogs' more with Greeks than Italians is 'The Wog Boy' (A film by Greek-Australian Nick Giannopolous). - Mark 11:51, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)


I agree with PML: let's cut this folklore out of the entry, since it is as bogus as any of the other attempts to construct etymologies out of supposed acronyms; see "posh," "cop," and "tip," for some other , equally bad examples. Italo Svevo 012:06, 17 April 2004 (UTC)

Acronyms & variants[edit]

"Worthy Oriental Gentleman" or variants thereof. I understood it was "Western Oriental Gentleman" (Some one from the Indian subcontinent or there abouts) instead of Eastern Oriental Gentleman (someone from China or there abouts). It is very rare that the term is used as an insult about people from the far east, it is much more common as an insult for people from the subcontinent and near east. [1]Philip Baird Shearer 13:21, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

An "Oriental Gentleman" also refers to a Jew. (talk) 01:23, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

How about "Worthy Occidental Gentleman"? (talk) 01:30, 17 May 2012 (UTC)


I've just come from Talk:Golliwogg, where it's being claimed by one editor that 'golliwog' is used today as a racist epithet, and refuses even to allow that such use is rare. I've come here to find it said that the use of 'wog' is rare; would that that were the case, but I've heard it all too frequently (though admittedly less commonly than in the sixties and seventies — my memory doesn't go further back than that). What's the basis for the claim about its rarity? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:34, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Cleanup Notes[edit]

Some notes on my changes:

  • I agree with the professor, wog is commonly used in the UK. Whoever put that in there has lived a sheltered life.
  • Shouting anything loudly in public is offensive. Just a simple point saying that it is offensive and to be used with caution was all that was needed. I know this all too well as an Australian in London, using the term freely and getting strange looks.
It's often used by ethnic Australians (especially younger generations) to describe their situation, as ethnics in a English culture. It remains slang, though and isn't used formally.

Darkov 16:23, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Some notes on my changes: I removed "(Sand Wogs)" as a qualifer in for "Arabs" in the list of ethinicites the word is applied to in Australia as the term "sand wogs" is EXTREMELY rarely used in common parlance. If anything, I suspect it was an Australian reinvention of the term "Sand Niggers" as used in the US by a similarly bigoted minority, and would confuse the general meaning of "Wog" as applied in Australia by the populace at large. (Guest)


Author of the Wog FAQ here. You've ended up with a pretty accurate set of meanings for this much travelled word, congratulations!
I'm reasonably sure that 'wog' in most of its meanings derives from 'pollywog', an obsolete alternative for 'tadpole'. The UK racial Wog may be an exception: Partridge missed the naval connection and all other dictionaries have followed him, but he could be right. Perhaps it would be helpful to rearrange the various meanings in their chronological order:

  • Naval pollywog > wog early 19th century?
  • Bengali bureaucrat late 19th century
  • Australian illness 19th century?
  • Golliwogg 1880s
  • Racial Indian early 20th century
  • Racial Arab First World War?
  • Scientology 1950s
  • Australian racial 1950s

The maritime Wog is certainly derogatory, pollywogs have various humiliations performed upon them by shellbacks. It is so far as I can ascertain limited to navies and is not used on civilian vessels.

--Hartley Patterson 19:39, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Would someone like Egon Krenz be considered a "wog" in Australia[edit]

I'm just wondering if someone like Egon Krenz would be considered a wog in Australia, even though he is not southern European. For anyone who doesn't know Egon Krenz hes german but, he has the skin color of a light arab (hes darker than 99.5% of southern europeans).

If Egon Krenz has the skin color of a light-skinned Arab, then he wouldn't be darker than 99.5% of Southern Europeans (Mediterraneans). Most of them have fair to dark skin and hair like all Mediterranean people including Arabs. And therefore, I'd sure doubt that he would be considered a wog. - Avery Long-Wiener

Egon Krenz ist nicht ein Wog. Er ist ein Roter!

In all seriousness, this is an interesting question, even if Krenz is looking quite pale these days (no doubt a result of his incarceration). While the crude term 'wog' was applied in a rather arbitrary manner to darker Southern Europeans, it's unlikely that Krenz would have received that label due to his German ethnicity. However, it does raise the question of whether the term 'wog' could be applied to darker Central Europeans. Does anybody know if Poles or Hungarians, for example, were labelled 'wogs' at any stage? You've got to understand that this is all pretty loose. Labels would be tried on anyone. A Hungarian or Pole wouldn't accept the label "wog", but someone would find some other term instead. Even with nicknames, even now you're kind of out of it at school if you don't have some derogatory nick-name thrown at you every now and again. This is very unlike the US, or probably anywhere else, where such things are taken much more personally.Trishm 12:27, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Poles are lighter than Germans, and Southern Germans look a lot like Nothern Italians

Oh, crikey, anybody could be called a wog, except those with blonde hair. Skin color is not as important as it is in the Northern Hemisphere, I think because it is possible for skin color to change drastically under our sun. One thing though, everybody, but everybody, gets some kind of label, and how derogatory it is depends a lot on how it is said. "You Pommie bastard" can be quite affectionate. Even in the 60's (as far back as I go), the word wog was used affectionately and with pride at times (and of course was a fighting word at other times).

That said, if a German was called a wog, he or she generally laughed and called the caller ignorant. Germans are Krauts, not wogs.Trishm 12:20, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Here, nowadays, wog is used to describe any sort of European (besides British) that still subscribes to European cultures. At least, where I live. People usually consider me a wog, and I'm German/Ukrainian. The Frederick 04:33, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Native Americans[edit]

I've just removed this one-sentence section:

== As a racial epithet against Native Americans ==
"Wog" is used as a term of abuse against some Native Americans, including but not limited to members of the Ojibway Nation in Minnesota and perhaps elsewhere.

First, is there any ground for the claim? Could someone provide a source? Secondly, if there is a source, doesn't this need to be in the main section, not a separate section? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 08:35, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

As a Minnesotan, I have never heard this. I've lived alongside one of the largest Ojibwe reservations too. -- 05:23, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

A question what about the fair skinned Italians about 75% at least of the Italians, light eyed (40% of the Italians), and blondes (15% of the Italians). Are they call wogs too? Lots of Italians are whiter looking than some English. Trust me I have been in both places!

August 2006(UTC)

Wogs = snot[edit]

In my family growing up in Melbourne, Australia in the 1970s we used the term "wogs" as a euphemism or childish word for "snot" or "nasal mucus". Was this used by others too? I never hear it anymore. — Hippietrail 17:49, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

My dad uses it to refer to a head-cold (brisbane australia) Cadmiumcandy 14:04, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Scientology replaced[edit]

Where did the scientology meaning go? Replaced anyway. --Hartley Patterson 23:52, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Edited again to remove an error - unless someone can show otherwise, I think the Church of Scientology is unaware of the maritime meaning. Plus a quote. --Hartley Patterson 19:24, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

'Derivative' subparagraph removed. I can only think of one critic of the Church of Scientology who has attempted to turn 'wog' into a compliment, the rest treat it as a stick with which to beat the Church. --Hartley Patterson 01:38, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

no it was to my knolidge someone remaking the scientology deffinition to something good if you want to find out more about that deffination go to the refferances and look at the iptv show its one of my favorites and thats why i placed it there well that and it goes with the derrivitave deff. --stapuft 22:19, 31 May 2006 (UTC) My god, stapuft, ever hear of spellcheck?!?!?!?

clog wogs and frog wogs[edit]

From the article :

  • It may occasionally extend to people from other parts of Europe. Migrants from the Netherlands sometimes refer to themselves as clog wogs and some from France refer to themselves as frog wogs.

Is this a joke? Is there any source that can be provided for this? --Alexxx1 (talk/contribs) 22:32, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I have heard the term clog wog used by at least one Dutch person in Australia. However it is not a wisespread or frequently-heard term. Frog wog I have never heard of. Possibly this is just a conflation from clog wog? Asa01 23:42, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I believe it is a conflation. Someone of French descent, or at least French name and email handle, emailed the Help Desk asking for it to be added. I have no attachment to its inclusion. Feel free to delete it if you feel it is appropriate. WAvegetarian (talk) (email) (contribs) 10:55, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Slavs are not wogs[edit]

Since when are Slavs considered a Mediterranean phenotype? Most Slavs whether from the Balkans or Central Asia are paler and more Anglo looking in comparison to Portuguese, Greeks, Italians, Spaniards, Turks, Albanians, Maltese, Lebanese, etc..

Ah there are Portuguese, Greeks, Italians, Spaniards and others that are pale skinned and some even with blonde hair as's all a stereotype...I've met many southern Europeans that were "anglo" looking... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:30, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

The Term Wog in 2005[edit]

The term wog, historically meant people who were Italian, Greek, Portuguese, etc. but Australians associate Wog with people who are Arab especially after the riots. It is used affectionally in Australia amongst southern Europeans (i.e. to each other). Depending on context, it can still be considered a racist word by people of British/Irish origin.

However, I have noticed that if it used to describe an Arab, they take it extremely offensive, and Australians no longer call Italians, Greeks, Portuguese 'wogs' anymore, but those of Lebanese or Arabic origins because they are non-European, so I added that it "Historically impled Italians and Greeks."

Dunno where you get that from mate— if I hear someone say "wog" I assume they're referring to someone of Italian or Greek descent. What do others think? --Russell E 22:48, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Wog is always applied to people of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern appearance. Most Latin-Australians are of Italian descent as most Arab-Australians are of Lebanese descent.They along with Greek-Australian and Iranian-Australians take the term equally offensive depending on whether you use the term to incite violence or not, like what happened during the riots. Calling a Mediterranean or Middle Easterner a 'wog' is like calling them a terrorist, gangster, outlaw, spy, wop, or camel jockey, in the derogatory sense. However, the term can also be used as a symbol of ethnic pride, denoting those from countries which are considered to be part of the cradle of Western Civilization. So Greeks, Latins, Persians, and Arabs don't always take offense of the term, especially when used amoungst themselves. - Avery Long-Wiener

How is calling people "Wogs" anything like calling people "Terrorists"?--Greasysteve13 09:12, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Who is a wog and who isn't is really subjective these days. It can range from just Italians and Greeks like originally to any European. The Frederick 04:35, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Style Issues[edit]

rarely considered to be the sort of slur or insult that it remains in other parts of the Anglosphere

I don't think it exists at all in US-English (maybe not Canadian-English either). Where exactly is it used? Is it limited to England and Australia? NZ? -- 05:19, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

It is sometimes used in the US, more frequently than in the past, I believe. IronDuke 02:36, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
It's also in common usage in some areas of Canada, primarily as the version derived from the Scientology definition of "wog". --SpecOp Macavity 17:44, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Alternate deffination of wog[edit]

Regarding the continued addition of the "Alternate deffination of wog" (sic), please provide reliable sources for the material, bearing in mind Wikipedia:Reliable_sources. Please note, especially, the following salient points from that policy:

"A primary source is a document or person providing direct evidence of a certain state of affairs; in other words, a source very close to the situation you are writing about. The term most often refers to a document produced by a participant in an event or an observer of that event."
"In general, Wikipedia articles should not depend on primary sources but rather on reliable secondary sources who have made careful use of the primary-source material." (emphasis added)
"A secondary source summarizes one or more primary or secondary sources. Secondary sources produced by scholars and published by scholarly presses are carefully vetted for quality control and can be considered authoritative."
"The burden of evidence lies with the editor who has made the edit in question, and any unsourced material may be removed by any editor."
"Check multiple independent sources"
"Publications with teams of fact-checkers, reporters, editors, lawyers, and managers — like the New York Times or The Times of London — are likely to be reliable, and are regarded as reputable sources for the purposes of Wikipedia. At the other end of the reliability scale lie personal websites, weblogs (blogs), bulletin boards, and Usenet posts, which are not acceptable as sources. Rare exceptions may be when a well-known professional person or acknowledged expert in a relevant field has set up a personal website using his or her real name. Even then, we should proceed with caution, because the information has been self-published, which means it has not been subject to any independent form of fact-checking."
"The policy page that governs the use of sources is Wikipedia:Verifiability. About self-published sources, which includes books published by vanity presses, and personal websites, it says: "Sources of dubious reliability are sources with a poor reputation for fact-checking, or with no fact-checking facilities or editorial oversight... Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published. For that reason, self-published books, personal websites, and blogs are largely not acceptable as sources."

etc., etc.

For the purposes of this issue, I believe that the only sources that have been suggested so far are a wiki and a personal website. Both constitutes unreliable "primary sources".

Please indicate below if there are any other sources. I have no ax to grind here, other than trying to make Wikipedia as a realiable encyclopedia. -- Mwanner | Talk 23:20, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I have a few comments to make regarding certain inaccuracies in Mwanner's statement above. As I've just told him, the primary source is not a personal website. It's a website concerning a particular program produced by RantMedia, and is owned and operated by the staff of RantMedia.

(He has also attempted to discredit it by pointing out that "OMG there's a link to a page where you can buy stuff! It's commercial!" and "OMG there's a link to forums! It's unreliable!" (My response to this was basically "A single link does not a commercial site make, and those forums are there so that people can discuss the RantMedia shows.")

As for the second, granted, it uses wiki software.

HOWEVER! It's also owned and operated by a group of people who consider themselves "wogs" in the derivative sense I (and others) have been mentioning, and it's their primary channel for sharing useful information and their takes on what the term "wog" means to them. As such, I believe it to be a reliable source in this case. --SpecOp Macavity 18:31, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

You're right about the partially commercial nature of the site not being relevent to the issue of reliability-- I do a lot of spam fighting here, so I'm probably oversensitive to commercial content, but it has nothing to do with whether a site can be taken to be a reliable source, so I apologise for muddying the water with that issue. I still see the site as essentially a personal site, centered on the views of a single individual, and I still have a major issue with the lack of a textual source for the purported definition. But I like your proposal, below, assuming such a source can be located. -- Mwanner | Talk 20:23, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
P.S. - Looking over the "History" page for the article proper, I've come up with a potential solution to the problem.
Place the following text in the section about the Scientology definition:
There is also a derivative definition which has become more commonn in recent years, thanks to its use by the host of Patrolling with Sean Kennedy. This definition can be found here.
With the work "here" being a link to the definition in question, which would be placed in a suitable location on the Wikipedia page for Sean Kennedy.
My thought is that even if Sean Kennedy and every regular listener of Patrolling with Sean Kennedy uses "wog" in this fashion, that is still a very small number of people (perhaps smaller than Sean Kennedy and his listeners are disposed to realize.) This private attempt to redefine the term may be quite relevant to Sean Kennedy, and worth mentioning there. It may, at some future point, become widespread enough to be worth mentioning here -- but the evidence does not indicate that it has, as the references provided are, essentially, self-publications. -- Antaeus Feldspar 19:18, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
I dunno-- I'd be all set to say "Sure, good solution" if there were a single, non-wiki, text source for the definition. Moving it to Kennedy's article solves (to my mind) the reliable source problem, since clearly his site is "official" for facts relating to him. But the absense (so far) of any textual source troubles me. Is it out there somewhere, waiting to be cited? -- Mwanner | Talk 20:12, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

im one of the ones that continue to place that deffinition on the wog page and i think that som has a good idea there stapuft 00:12, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

A piece of trivia[edit]

If the word 'wog' had not been in long-standing offensive use, it might have become the singular form of WAGs - as the singular would surely be 'wife or girlfriend'. Is it worth mentioning at the bottom of the article that this might have happened, and that the word's offensive usage is probably the reason it didn't? Jess Cully 13:16, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Which Australians are Wogs?[edit]

This continual changing of the list of countries of origin and/or races for those Australians who are called 'wogs' is getting silly. We've even had the Macedonian political correctness brigade visiting! Would it be possible for you Aussies to settle on some more general terms that didn't need to be changed so often? :-)

As a suggestion, you might say that 'Wog' came back to Australia after WWII as a rude word for darker skinned people, was applied to immigrants from SE Europe as they are darker skinned than those of British descent, and has since adapted to current events to include people from the Levant. --Hartley Patterson 19:02, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Coud you just maybe add to the list that the word's aplication is variable? Possibly the variation is regional, e.g. applied differently in Melbourne to Sydney. Cadmiumcandy 12:28, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

As threatened and with yet more nationalities being added to an already overlong list I've deleted the lot and replaced with regional terms, plus removed some vandalism. --Hartley Patterson 13:39, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

WOG poultry[edit]

Yikes! I thought this had to be a joke but no, googling generated lots of seriously commercial webpages that use WOG as an acronym for 'without giblets'. What we need is a stable reference, which none of these are. --Hartley Patterson 21:23, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Scientology Quote[edit]

From what I gather about what Scientologists mean by "wog," the quote of the Scientology pamphlet

"Why spend your time and ability working a 9 to 5 job in the wog world, when you can be 100% on-purpose, working full-time to help change conditions and Clear the Planet?"

would probably be better as

"Why spend your time and ability working a 9 to 5 job in the muggle world,..." 21:45, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

They are both collective terms for people who are outside a group. J K Rowling is spot on with her invented word which matches up with 'goyim' for non-Jews, 'barbarians' for non-Greeks (because they spoke funny, 'bar bar bar') and 'mundanes' for non SF fans. --Hartley Patterson 19:43, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Wog in modern British youth parlence[edit]

It should be noted that throughout the UK wog has a modern definition as hair. If someone (of any race) has large or long, particularly thick, hair they could be called "woghead", or possessing "a wog of hair". Also the word might be used in a synonym for a haircut, the term "wog-chop" is often used. School teachers would often be shocked if they heard pupils use the word 'wog' between eachother, pointing out its racist connotations. We would explain that the word was not racist for our generation, and used in a harmless way to describe hair. We never considerd the word to be offensive, and still don't. The use of wog as a racial slur seemed quite archaic to us. Should this be considered for the main page? It is interesting to note how different generations alter the use and meanings of words (even controversial ones). Another example is how the word 'gay' does not mean happy, or homosexual to many youths, but rather something rubbish or unlikeable.

Put it in by all means, with a reference if possible (you'll need to be registered if you're not already, as the article is semi-protected). Google returns 168 results for 'woghead', the word does seem to be genuine.
In my experience (listening to American kids Internet chatting) 'gay' is used along with other abusive or non-PC language as part of their teenage rebel self-image. --Hartley Patterson 10:46, 21 January 2007 (UTC)


The term Worthy Oriental Gentleman was used by a British general addressing British troops after they attacked local Egyptians when stationed near the pyramids in First World War. The attack was caused by the Egyptian fadayeen pilfering of British military supplies. In dressing down the the troops the general referred to theEgyptians as Worthy Oriental Gentlemen (WOGS) who should be treated with respect. Tommy Atkins ( British soldiers) took up the term and spread it throughout the Empire as a pejorative. This reference was related by my grandfather, a soldier in the 17-21st Hussars who was stationed in Egypt prior to participating in the Gallipoli campaign in 1915.----David Sentance

the same story popped up in WWII, with Mountbatten in an obviously faked order instructing troops under his command in Burma to treat WOGS with respect. Both are examples of 'backronym', making up acronyms to fit an already existing word. It's quite possible that a general made such a speech, but I suspect 'wog', derived from golliwogg and/or pollywog, was already a racial insult. --Hartley Patterson 12:14, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Tidying, rearranging[edit]

  • Removed latest vandalism.
  • Swopped the two Australian meanings around to put the older one first.
  • Corrected grammar in various places.
  • Removed some mild POV.
  • Removed 'Lawrence of Arabia' reference, as it only indicates that the scriptwriter was aware of 'wog', thus not a primary source. It may be in 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom' of course, can't find my copy!
  • Removed variant acronyms from racist section as these are covered in Etymology section.
  • Removed suggestion that wog in Scientology is mostly used for white middle class non-scientologists - I've never come across this would like to see evidence.

--Hartley Patterson 16:24, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Irony of Useage[edit]

This article does not mention that not all british people are non wogs. There are plenty of indigenous welsh people who could pass for Wogs much to the anger i'm sure of racist aussies and white supremacists but its a fact. some wogs are indigenous to england, scotland and ireland too. This article needs to mention this, include some racial maps created by anthropoligists which all show this.

Use this map: shows mediterranean influence predominates wales and cornwall. shows atlanto medeiterranean influence dominates wales, cornwall, gloustershire, south eastern ireland and western scotland. -- 16:54, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

This is a weird enough subject without adding unconnected extra weirdness thanks :-) --Hartley Patterson 20:03, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
The map <Passing_of_the_Great_Race_-_Map_4.jpg> manages to be both seriously wrong and seriously odd. So the Welsh are Africans and Turks are Russians? Really? PeterColdridge (talk) 08:24, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

WOG as singular for WAG[edit]

"In it's common usage, WOG refers to a sportsman's (usually a footballer's) Wife Or Girlfriend and is thus the singular of WAG (i.e. "I think it's offensive to call me a WOG. I'm more than that: I'm a singer." Louise Nurding, 2001)"
This was added, attributed but not sourced. Wog is only connected to WAGs so far as I can find when reference is made, possibly jokingly, to it being the 'correct' singular form. As such it falls into the acronym category? --Hartley Patterson 22:09, 14 September 2007 (UTC)


I've just removed the following as funny as it way! "Also a true wog is one with a large matsa, such as the one and only Carlo Tropiano + members of the Grey Army. These 'wogs' are a dangerous kind and are renowned for holding their large matsas as they walk."! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hesh78 (talkcontribs) 08:52, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

There's no need to flag correcting vandalism here really - rude words attract naughty children --Hartley Patterson 17:03, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Removal of diambiguation tag[edit]

This article does not classify as a dab page, so I've removed it as such. I can see why it may have been orginally mistaken for one; as it dicusses a number of uses of the word "wog" that are separate ideas and do not related necessarily relate to eachother. Though direction of the article has been attemptted: "Wog is a slang word with several meanings, some commonly derogatory, some not.", I think this is quite vague for an article introduction. You might consider creating seperate articles or stubs for the individual subjects if it is not possible to unify the article. Thanks, --France3470 18:47, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Part of the point of the article is that 'wog' is a word with an interesting and unusual history. Breaking it up would destroy this --Hartley Patterson 23:13, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Four adverbs[edit]

'although originally used pejoratively and affectionately traditionally,'. a seven word clause with four adverbs!!??!! gotta be able to do better than that. i can't fix it because i'm not entirely sure what it means.Toyokuni3 (talk) 13:27, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

subjective viewpoint[edit]

The phrase "is used to characterize a stodgy Europhobic viewpoint" contains a subjective judgment "stodgy" applied to a "Europhobic viewpoint". "stodgy" is a non-objective description with negative and political connotations that has no place being used a s description of those who are not in favour of excessive European integration. Subjective terms like “stodgy” in this context have no place in objective attempts to produce useful and unbiased encyclopaedic entries. Paul J. Weighell (talk) 11:05, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Your logic is faulty. Saying that "Socrates was a famous philosopher" does not imply that all philosophers are famous, and nor does the existence of a stodgy viewpoint imply that all such viewpoints are stodgy. "Stodgy" is here a qualifying adjective not a description, and I think it fits the present humorous usage of the phrase quite well. --Hartley Patterson (talk) 01:24, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Complete mess: needs to be split into several different articles[edit]

This is a shambles even by Wiki standards. The article apparently covers several quite different terms with the same spelling.KD Tries Again (talk) 02:49, 14 September 2008 (UTC)KD Tries Again

Agreed. Either convert it to (an) article(s), a dabpage, or transwiki the whole thing to Wiktionary. the skomorokh 12:50, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
As pointed out a year ago, breaking up would destroy an interesting point (IMO) the article makes which is that 'wog' has a number of meanings, some connected some not. The unconnected ones are disambiguated in 'WOG' and could be removed from here, but the meanings that derive from 'pollywog' should remain together. They are a fine example of how words in a living language can change meaning faster than academia can keep up with them. --Hartley Patterson (talk) 19:15, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Regarding the list of ethnicities identified as wogs[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} I have an issue with "Macedonians" being in the list. Where there even the so called "Macedonians" in Australia when the term wog has in heavy use? This whole idiocy of Slavs claiming to be "Macedonians" started in 1995, certainly not after the end of WWII when immigrants started flooding Australia. Please remove the term "Macedonian" from the list. Thanks. --User:ThisThat911

Not done No citation. Leujohn (talk) 05:16, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Your response is very laconic. Perhaps you should have pointed me to the sources that reference "Macedonians" as wogs. list. 15:17, 19 January 2009, ThisThat911

Regarding the list of ethnicities identified as wogs[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} I have an issue with "Macedonians" being in the list. Where there even the so called "Macedonians" in Australia when the term wog has in heavy use? Also, in a previous, similarly-named section I made (should be directly above this one), the user "leujohn" gave the laconic reply "Not done No citation", yet he failed to point out a single credible source where "Macedonians" are referenced as wogs. BTW, user "Hartley Peterson" above, makes the following remark, "We've even had the Macedonian political correctness brigade visiting!" so it isn't just me who has an issue with this. No references, therefore no mention of this "ethnicity". Please remove the term "Macedonian" from the list. Thanks. --User:ThisThat911

Done I removed the whole list of specific ethnicities, since a) none of it was sourced and b) even if it was all sourced, the list could grow endlessly. There needs to be a lot more sourcing on the whole article, but that's a separate issue.--Aervanath talks like a mover, but not a shaker 21:32, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Removing the whole list and pruning it have been tried before, but Australians insist on recreating and adding to it! We shall see if it sticks this time. --Hartley Patterson (talk) 19:16, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
It didn't. List removed again. --Hartley Patterson (talk) 12:11, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

"Dictionaries are unaware of it, ..."[edit]

I have removed this clause on the fairly inarguable grounds that the online meta-dictionary, OneLook, reports 21 online dictionaries having an entry for "pollywog", and 23 having entries for "wog".

Why do I start these 5-minute edits? OK, an hour of reading convinces me that the author of this sentence may have something to say. The statement does, in fact, seem to be true for the dictionaries found by OneLook (though I've only checked a sample). The conventional view seems to be that "wog" is a corruption of "golliwog" (Though Harper suggests that 'golliwog' may come from 'golly' and 'polliwog', constituting an indirect connection). I find no attestations of the 'never crossed the equator' sense of either "pollywog/polliwog" or "wog".

I therefore haven't proved that the statement is untrue, as I rashly stated in my edit description, but have simply identified it as an unsupported statement requiring citations. Perhaps someone would like to revert it and add a "Citation required" template?

Another hour of my life gone, proofreading half a sentence. C'est la guerre.

--Nyelvmark (talk) 00:48, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

The conclusive citation, namely one with racial 'wog' predating the publication of the first Golliwogg book in 1895, has proved remarkably elusive! That dictionaries still ignore maritime wogs is remiss of them however, as that is well attested in this article. At least Wikipedia has that right. Hartley Patterson (talk) 15:56, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Wog is a bad word[edit]

I mean, wog is an offensive word?? Please answer —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:13, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

To some people, yes. --Masamage 03:49, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
In the UK, yes. It is listed by the BBC as one of around twenty words that are likely to cause offense and should be used with caution. --Hartley Patterson (talk) 12:08, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
And in Australia, too. Nick Giannopoulos does not represent southern European-Australians. How does identifying one source (including references to Nick's clan of idiots) pass as significant enough to lable the use of the term 'wog' as endearing. FFS. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:34, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Wogs begin at Calais?[edit]

no they don't all us Lancashire lads know that wogs start south of the Mersey. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:59, 7 October 2011 (UTC) That's an uneducated mistake put about by people who don't realize that the area between the Mersey and the Ribble is also part of Cheshire, and the concept of somewhere called "Lancashire" is modern propaganda. nonsense - the Mersey was for centuries the boundary between Lancashire and Cheshire. but some towns which were in Lancashire e.g. Widnes, Warrington have now become part of Cheshire. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:51, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

American English "wog" is not racist?[edit]

Just reading the lyrics of Randy Newman's song "Sail Away" (written late 1970's). He seems to use the word "wog" to refer to an illegal immigrant. Thus the word might have racial connotations in American English as well. Crasshopper (talk) 03:48, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Define WOG[edit]

As I have said in Sydney most people who call others WOGS'. Are of Irish ancestry and it is used at all foreigners . Remove your one sided racist comments before a class action takes legal action against you. I quote WOG"(offensive British slang) term used by the British to refer to people of color from Africa or Asia. Irish people worship the "Blarney Stone". Type " Wog" in to google and define it's mean you racist,bogans, rednecks. From not a Bogan — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:37, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

It's difficult to tell what you object to, but based on past edits [2] [3] my guess is that you wish for the article to denigrate those you term bogans, and now, apparently, the Irish. Wikipedia isn't censored, and it's not edited to reflect your personal views. You appear to desire an exchange of one form of racism or nationalism for another, which isn't acceptable. Apart from being sourceless and incomprehensible, the previous edits to this article and to bogan are clearly and inappropriately bigoted. That is why you can't edit these articles. Acroterion (talk) 01:49, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Edit request[edit]

The "In the media" section should be a subsection of the "Australian English" section, since it's specifically about Australian usage. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:43, 16 February 2013 (UTC)


Why have the references to L Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, been deleted and replaced by a long quote from a recent book by an ex-scientologist? Hubbard is the primary source here! Please justify or be reverted. Hartley Patterson (talk) 00:57, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Quote from Jenna Hill merged with previous references. These were deleted as "unreliable sources"; I don't see why a magazine and two properly referenced quotes from Hubbard should be thought to be such. Hartley Patterson (talk) 12:36, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 11 July 2014[edit]

Wog is slang... and is a degroetory word used by white people. nowadays its just like saying "mate" to a western person. but know when to use the word because it can be taken the wrong way

Posteditor101 (talk) 09:25, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: as you have not requested a change.
If you want to suggest a change, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please also cite reliable sources to back up your request, without which no information should be added to any article. - Arjayay (talk) 09:30, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Wog/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

*1 public domain image, 1 citation. Could use more images, material/expansion, and citations. Smee 17:00, 11 March 2007 (UTC).

Last edited at 17:00, 11 March 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 10:49, 30 April 2016 (UTC)