Derogatory terms
I am in a race relations class and need to know where the derogatory terms "dago" and "wop" originated.
Dago (pronounced d-ehy-g-uhw -- that's long-A and long-O), though I'm accustomed to it being spelled "dego" (like the French ""), is an alteration of the surname "Diego." Wop is a somewhat malformed inhieritor of an acronym for Work With-out Papers. Etymologically.

Semantically, "dego" used to refer to anyone of souther European descent, especially Spanish, but then later especially Italians. Italians, generally, were stereotyped after a certain number of folks who gained permission to obtain employment in the United States without a work visa ("papers").

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