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"WOP" redirects here. For other uses, see WOP (disambiguation).

Wop is a pejorative slur used to describe Italians, or people descended from Italians.[1]


According to Merriam-Webster its first known use was in the United States in 1908.[2] The dictionary is unambiguous that it originates from a southern Italian dialect term guappo, meaning thug, derived from the Spanish term guapo, meaning handsome, via dialectical French, meaning ruffian or pimp.[3] It also has roots in the Latin vappa, meaning wine gone flat.[2]

Popular culture[edit]

The term is used in the bar fight scene in the film From Here to Eternity.[4] During the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon referred to United States District Court Judge John Sirica as a "gol' darn wop."[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Embury, Stuart P. (2006). "Chapter One: The Early Years". The Art and Life of Luigi Lucioni. Embury Publishing Company. pp. 1-4.
  2. ^ a b http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wop
  3. ^ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/wop
  4. ^ Peter Bondanella (2005). Hollywood Italians: Dagos, Palookas, Romeos, Wise Guys, and Sopranos. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-8264-1757-2. 
  5. ^ http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/11978612/