:"For other meanings, see WOG."Wog is a slang word with several meanings, some commonly derogatory, some not.

As a racial epithet in English

British racial term originating in the colonial period of the British Empire. It was used as a label for the natives of India, North Africa, the Mediterranean/Eastern Europe and the Middle East. By the 1950s it had become a pejorative term used in order to offend. In modern British parlance it has become less prevalent and has been applied to any type of dark skinned person.

"Wog" is a phrase used many of times by Fox and Sith although, Fox established/coined it first.

The origin of the term is uncertain. Many dictionaries say "wog" possibly derives from the Golliwogg, a blackface minstrel doll character from a children's book published in 1895. An alternative is that "wog" originates from Pollywog, a maritime term for someone who has not crossed the equator. Attempts to derive "wog" from such phrases as "Worthy Oriental Gentleman", "Working On Government Service" (digging the Suez Canal) or "White Oriental Gentleman" are however considered backronyms.

The use of the word is discouraged in Britain, and most dictionaries refer to the word with the caution that it is derogatory and offensive slang.

The saying "The wogs begin at Calais" was originated by George Wigg, Labour MP for Dudley, in 1949. In a parliamentary debate concerning the Burmese, Wigg shouted at the Tory benches, "The Honourable Gentleman and his friends think they are all 'wogs'. Indeed, the Right Honourable Member for Woodford [i.e. Winston Churchill] thinks that the 'wogs' begin at Calais."" [http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1949/jul/29/africa#S5CV0467P0-09214 Hansard] ", House of Commons 5th series, vol. 467 col 2845.] Wigg's coinage, sometimes paraphrased as "Wogs start at the Channel" or "Wogs start at Dover", is used to characterise a stodgy Europhobic viewpoint, and more generally the view that Britain (more so England) is inherently separate from (and superior to) the Continent. In this case, "wog" is used to compare any foreign, non-English person to those more traditionally labeled "wogs".

As a synonym for "illness" in Australian

"Wog" was originally used in Australia as a slang term for illnesses such as colds, the flu or malaria. This usage has been in existence since at least the early 1940s. It is recorded in the 1941 "Popular Dictionary of Australian Slang" by S. J. Baker as meaning "a germ or parasite".Ramson, W. S. (Ed). "The Australian National Dictionary: A Dictionary of Australianisms on Historical Principles". Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-19-554736-5. p. 741.]

A once common expression in Australia (now severely outdated) when you had an illness (such as cold or flu) was ‘I am in bed with a wog’. It was said jokingly and was a double entendre referring to the use of the word ‘wog’ to describe illness and also persons of Mediterranean origin (as described below).

Another use of the term, which dates from 1909, was to describe insects and grubs, particularly if they were hunting insects or regarded as being unpleasant in some way.

As an ethnic reference in Australian

"Wog" is also an ethnic slur in Australian English. The term traditionally denoted immigrants principally of Southern European Mediterranean and Eastern European origins (and since then, also their descendants). Among those traditionally included as "wogs" are Australians of Italian, Greek, Maltese, Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian, Serbian, and Bulgarian descent.

In modern usage, the term has seen itself extended and has become highly subjective and arbitrary. It now often encompasses latter migratory waves of Mediterraneans of non-European stock, that is, people from the Mediterranean countries of the Middle East and North Africa, such as Turks, Lebanese, Syrians, Palestinians, and Egyptians. Still yet, as a further extension to this expanded meaning, other peoples from Middle Eastern countries not bordering the Mediterranean might also see themselves drawn into the scope of the word, including Iraqis, Jordanians, up to and including Iranians, but not Afghans or those further beyond (note the arbitrayness, as both Iranians and Afghans are the one same ethnicity; Persians). It may sometimes even included Latin Americans as an extension to the Spanish and Portuguese, both of whom are indeed included in the traditional meaning of the word. At the same time, the frequency of the application of "wog" to the traditionally encompassed Europeans has lessened as they integrated and assimilated into the general population (over their comparatively longer history in Australia compared to later non-European "wogs" who are still in the early stages of the same process given their later arrival).

The "ethnic" character of the term "wog" came into popular use in the 1950s when Australia accepted large numbers of immigrants from Southern Europe's Mediterranean countries and from Eastern Europe, in contrast to the then overwhelmingly dominant ethnic Anglo-Celtic stock of the population. Although originally used pejoratively, the term is increasingly used more affectionately, especially by the individuals the term is used to describe.

Wog is a word with definite and widespread currency in contemporary Australian English, and for the most part it is rarely considered to be the sort of racist slur that it remains in other parts of the Anglosphere. The related term wogball, meaning association football, comes from its popularity among such people - among Australians of Anglo-Celtic/Northern European ancestry Rugby football and Australian Rules football are considered more prestigious and manly.

The term was often used in popular Australian comedy Kingswood Country between 1979-84 and was used in a sense that was sometimes perjorative, sometimes affectionate and sometimes neutral.

The word was prominently used in the popular early 1990s stage show "Wogs Out of Work", created by Greek-Australian Nick Giannopoulos and Spanish-Australian Simon Palomares. The production was followed on television with "Acropolis Now", starring Giannopoulos, Palomares, George Kapiniaris and Mary Coustas, and in film with "The Wog Boy".

Nevertheless, the term remains quite offensive to a lot of people in Australia, particularly people of Mediterranean origin who grew up in Australia during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s as it was still very much an ethnic slur or insult.

The derogatory nature of the term when used as an ethnic slur largely succeeded in overtaking and driving out use of the term "Wog" to describe illness or undesirable insects.

Maritime usage

"Wog" is a shortened version of the word "pollywog" (frequently modified with the word "slimy"), used for sailors during the Line-crossing ceremony on the first time they cross the equator. "Pollywog" or "polliwog" is an increasingly obsolete synonym for tadpole which has been traced back to Middle English.

This use of pollywog goes back to at least the 19th century and thus may be the oldest source of "wog". Dictionaries are unaware of it, possibly because Eric Partridge missed it in his "Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (1937)".

Maritime "wog" is a possible alternative ancestor of the racial "wog", particularly since Partridge does record a usage for presumably annoying Bengali bureaucrats:

"A lower-class babu shipping-clerk: nautical: late C.19-20" - "Concise Dictionary of Slang, Eric Partridge, 1989"

= As a term in Scientology = Amongst Scientologists, wog is used as a disparaging word for non-scientologists. [ [http://warrior.xenu.ca/1997-1117a.html Ex-scientologists speak - "Warrior" ] ] Scientology's founder L. Ron Hubbard defined wog as a "common, everyday garden-variety humanoid.... He 'is' a body. [He] doesn't know he's there, etc. He isn't there as a spirit at all. He is not operating as a thetan. The term comes from 'Worthy Oriental Gentleman', from the days of the British in Egypt.sic" [Saint Hill Briefing Course-82 6611C29]

L. Ron Hubbard employed the term frequently in his lectures and writings. ["You'll find out most people, wog people have mock-ups which are two-dimensional" - "Creative Admiration Processing" lecture, 10 January 1953
"We're making a new [society] . So let's skip the approval button from a lot of wogs and settle down to work to make new people and better people." - HCOPL 26 May 1961
"We work in a jungle of noncompliance and false reports called the wog world." - HCOPL 5 Jan 1968

Since wog is not in general use in American English, it is most likely that Hubbard picked it up during his period of service as a US naval officer during World War II (1941-45). An alternative source would be England, where he resided 1953-66.

In Scientology, wog lacks racist overtones, even in the UK where that meaning is prevalent. From a 2004 Church of Scientology magazine: "I arrived at Saint Hill shy, introverted and somewhat out of valence. I had been working at a wog job, and I knew my priorities had to change...." [The Auditor UK #318 June 2004 p5]

As a piping component term

WOG appears on certain types/models of block or check valves, indicating they are suitable for "water-oil-gas" service, where gas normally means natural gas or propane. The letters "WOG" are always in capital letters and are usually raised—having been cast with the valve body. This abbreviation sometimes appears as "W.O.G.".

Folk etymology

The term "wog" is often given a folk etymology as an acronym for various phrases:
*Western Oriental Gentleman/Westernized Oriental Gentleman/Wild Oriental Gentleman
*Worthy Oriental Gentleman
*Whole Of Government. Used to describe Australian Government-wide outsourcing contracts

No evidence has been found for any of these purported explanations.

ee also

*List of ethnic slurs
*The Wog Boy


External links

* [http://www.newsfrombree.co.uk/wog_faq.htm Wog Faq]
* [http://www.golliwogg.co.uk "Golliwogg.co.uk"] An independent guide to Golliwogs
* [http://www.nibco.com/showFile.do?fileId=1336 NIBCO Technical Bulletin]
* [http://www.unitedvalve.com/art-valve_standards.htm United Valves, Valve Standards in The Petrochemical & Refining Industry]

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