Learn English – the origin of the word “wog”


Some friend of mine told me it was an acronym for "western oriental gentleman" and was a form of sarcastic politeness. Is this true, and is it offensive to use this word?

Best Answer

Etymonline gives its derivation as:

wog c.1920, "a lower-class babu shipping clerk" [Partridge]; later World War II British armed forces slang for "native of India" (especially as a servant or laborer), possibly shortened from golliwog. Many acronym origins have been proposed, none found satisfactory.

So the acronyms may be folk etymology.