back to article 'Wandering Dago' tuck truck ejected from NY race track

The owners of a fast-food truck are bemoaning their ejection from a New York horse racing track, after the powers that be deemed its snappy name "Wandering Dago" a tad offensive to Italian Americans. Wandering Dago proprietors Andrea Loguidice and Brandon Snooks (pictured below) had secured a spot to sell their nosh to punters …

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  1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Pint

    So I should scrap the plan...

    to move to NY and open a fresh fruit drinks stand called "Limey Drinks"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So I should scrap the plan...

      Nah, I'd go with: "Suck My Plums"

    2. Turtle

      Re: So I should scrap the plan...

      "So I should scrap the plan to move to NY and open a fresh fruit drinks stand called 'Limey Drinks'?"

      Well they have a racial slur and a big fat pig on their logo, in case anyone isn't getting the, uh, message, such as it is. So they are way, way ahead of your little limeade drink stand.

    3. Squeezer
      Happy

      Re: So I should scrap the plan...

      For the benefit of non-native English-speakers, there's a traditional dish from the north of England called faggots (they're a type of meatball including liver, traditionally served with mushy peas).

      When we had a bunch of friends over from the states, one of our guys who's a serious cook did a sort of "fusion cooking" version of them which were coloured with (I think) beetroot and flavoured with (among other things) lime leaves.

      They were very nice, but the main reason was so he could put "Pinko Limey Faggots" on the menu...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is bizarre that they think the name is acceptable, shows lack of understanding and poor education as even here in the UK it is used as a derogatory term. I'm surprised some Mafia types haven't set them on fire yet.

  3. tkioz

    Americans... Here in Australia it would elicit a laugh, hell we had a hit movie called 'Wog Boy' and no-one bitched about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In Australia

      you have "Coon cheese"

      1. Wize

        Re: In Australia

        "Its just a naaaaame"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Coon cheese

        Coon cheese is named after its creator, Edward Coon.

        Nothing racist about it.

    2. Jamie Kitson
      Thumb Down

      In Australia

      Australia seems to be a seriously racist place. I have a friend of Sri Lankan origin whose office nickname in Australia is Apu. The fact that no one bitched about "Wog Boy" is not necessarily a good thing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In Australia

        > Australia seems to be a seriously racist place.

        Racism only has power if you take it in any way serious.

        All this political correctness stuff is really the wrong way to handle it.

        The gay community have known this for a *long* time, such that they are reclaiming the "queer" usage to rid it of its sting.

        You can't deal with genuine racism by stifling its words, that's just silly.

      2. MrDamage

        Re: In Australia

        So its perfectly acceptable for us to be referred to as convicts and criminals, but god forbid we make fun of anyone else based on their forebears?

        Humanity developed large brains in order to learn how to deal with each other. If you are unable to deal with how our culture works, then it just goes to show your brain is not as developed as you would like to believe it is.

        Besides, we're too busy worrying about being bit on the arse by a redback or funnelweb spider, or brown snake, or taipan, or getting our nuts bit off by saltwater crocs, or great whites, to have to worry about being politically correct.

      3. Martin Budden Bronze badge

        Re: In Australia

        Australia seems to be a seriously racist place. I have a friend of Sri Lankan origin whose office nickname in Australia is Apu. The fact that no one bitched about "Wog Boy" is not necessarily a good thing.

        You have completely failed to understand the Aussie way. Calling him Apu is a term of endearment: it would be an insult to still be calling him Mr <insert real surname here> after working with him for a long time in the office. Aussies call their best mates things like dickhead and wanker and it's taken as a sign of respect.

  4. Sir Barry

    "Last year, Wandering Dago was denied a permit to sell food at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, on similar grounds"

    Maybe they should of taken the hint and gone for a name change.....

    1. James Hughes 1

      Indeed. One does wonder at their business sense, when its actually happened before. After all, its a couple of sticker changes on the van, and heypresto, "Wandering Fagot"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Wandering Fagot"

        Yes, but with Bloomie as mayor, they know better than to be trying to run a wander truck selling cigarettes.

      2. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Dunno, they seem to be milking the publicity quite nicely.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. frank ly

    "..who would self-reference themselves in a deragotory manner?"

    Ask the members of NWA. :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "..who would self-reference themselves in a deragotory manner?"

      Why on earth did you get a downvote for that?

      Here have an upvote

    2. Turtle

      Re: "..who would self-reference themselves in a deragotory manner?"

      "..who would self-reference themselves in a deragotory manner?"

      "Ask the members of NWA"

      Your answer is its own rebuttal: There is nothing inherently offensive about the letters N, W, or A. And NWA uses this three-letter acronym for a reason, yes?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "NWA uses this three-letter acronym for a reason, yes?"

        Yes, they used it because they want to refer to themselves as "Niggaz Wit Attitudes", and yes, they were exactly and entirely using the word in a self-deprecatory fashion. I refer you to the title of their second album, which, although printed backwards, was also in mirror writing, making it very clear that the album's name was "Niggaz4Life"; who exactly do you think they were referring to as being what for life? You could also try checking out the track listing from that album, or you could even try listening to their music and understanding what they mean by the use of the word.

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: "..who would self-reference themselves in a deragotory manner?"

      Is it bad that I initally read that as 'NRA'? Maybe it's the Elmer Fudd brach, the National Wifles Association?

      And before antone points it out, yes I DO know who NWA are/were.

  6. Alfred 2
    Facepalm

    Offensive vs Business sense

    Dunno how offensive the term is - I've never heard it used politely, but it seems bad business sense to drive away a section of potential customers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Offensive vs Business sense

      The publicity more than makes up for losing a few customers I expect.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If a Dago is Italian than what is a Wop?

    I wish our colonialists would stop messing with our insults.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      They're the same as this classic demonstrates:-

      Pirelli tyres,

      Dago through water,

      Dago througn snow,

      And when Dago flat

      Dago Wop, Wop, Wop

      1. Matt 21

        Reminds me a little of Fawlty Towers when the Major was recounting a story:

        ‘The strange thing was, throughout the morning she kept referring to the Indians as niggers. “No, no, no,” I said, “the niggers are the West Indians. These people are wogs”.’

        So, I imagine he would say "No, no, no, the Spanish are dagos, these people are wops!"

      2. disgruntled yank Silver badge

        Pulleeze

        Not water/snow:, but rain/slop.

      3. Dan Paul
        Devil

        Ellis Island story

        As the story goes, WOP stands for "With Out Papers" and a small paper tag was attached to immigrants at Ellis Island (the holding area for new immugants) when the came to America andd had no papers or other documentation to prove who they were or where they came from.

        This mainly affected Italian and Sicilian immigrants as they were the mainstay of the particular wave of immigration at the time.

        The Irish got here before the Italians did and since they spoke English (albeit with a thick brogue), the immigration people could understand what they were saying (mostly). This was not true of the Italians or Germans which is why there were many inadvertent name changes and misspellings among those new immigrants.

    2. Chris Miller

      A more complete list of racial/national epithets may be found here.

    3. Captain DaFt
      Coat

      A famous person once said*; "Britain and America are two nations divided by a common language".

      Ask anyone that's traveled in the US, and he'll tell you that the US is 50 states united by three common languages in 300 sub dialects.

      Slang that means one thing in one area, and be completely innocuous, might mean the exact opposite in another and be considered a vile slur.

      English is a wonderful language, it's just that nobody can agree what it is! (Not even in its birthplace!)

      *Wilde, Shaw, Russell, Thomas, Churchill... take your pick.

  8. Alister Silver badge

    Deemed offensive to Italian Americans, oddly, not Hispanics

    I'm not in any way trying to be racist or derogatory, but my understanding of American culture (being a Limey) was that the common epithet for Hispanics was "spic" .

    I don't think that, if two African-Americans had set up a fast food joint called Wandering N***er, they would be surprised if people were offended by that, so why should this be any different?

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Deemed offensive to Italian Americans, oddly, not Hispanics

      All slurs depend somewhat on locality down to the city level. Where I came from your epithet was more specifically someone from Peurto Rico. (Ever since I saw the Dirty Harry movies I've tried to keep a mental checklist of slurs to riff on one of the lines.)

      The problem with your counter example, is that if two blacks did try to license such a truck and set it up in downtown NYC, it would be featured on every MSM news report as a great place to eat. And everyone would be happily repeating the name.

      How do I know? I made the mistake of accepting a recommendation to see Pulp Fiction.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Deemed offensive to Italian Americans, oddly, not Hispanics

      My wife is Puerto Rican, and on occasion I find an excuse to use the term "spic and span" specifically for that reason. But we both make terrible racial jokes on occasion, because we know one another and we know what we mean by it.

      But we recognize the difference between that and dealing with the public, and neither of us would think it would be a great idea to start up a restaurant called "Spic-and-Kike's"...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A bunch of white knights being offended on behalf of the people who chose the name for themselves.

    And people wonder why I'm so cynical these days...

    1. Hollerith 1

      Why do you think they were white?

      Maybe they were Hispanic or of Italian origin, or maybe Jewish or from t e Middle East, and just didn't like a company using a racial slur as part of their business name. And white people ought to be offended by words they used to employ when white supremacy was the order of the day. Shock (and, I hope, shame) should be part of that 'offended'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why do you think they were white?

        You have no idea what the phrase " white knight" means, do you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "A bunch of white knights being offended on behalf of the people who chose the name for themselves."

      Do you know anything about the people who were complaining? Neither do I. But why should the racetrack permit vendors who gratuitously offend their clientele?

  10. oldtaku

    We've still got quite a strong Italian American lobby (National Italian American Foundation, for instance) who send vigorous letters of complaint to any media that suggests that there might ever have been a Mafia in Italy and that surely this is a scurrilous lie and the Teamsters and New Jersey waste management companies are completely legitimate businessmen.

    1. hplasm
      Angel

      So

      When'sa their Delmio day?

      cringe

    2. Tom 13

      @oldtaku

      You can call them by what they want to be called. The rest of us call them by their real name: The Mafia. Because only real mafiosos come down as hard on movies as they do.

      What I've found over time is that the best dago/wop jokes come from Italians, the best Pollock jokes come from Poles, and the best mick jokes come from the Irish. They frequently keep lists of them. And the ones who keep the lists are some of the most fun people to be around because they are comfortable and secure in their own skins. The people who keep trying to purge the language are the ones I don't want to be around.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @oldtaku

        My grandfather was born in Poland, so here goes.

        It's the height of the cold war, and two guys in Warsaw decide that they've got to escape to the West. They decide that the best thing to do is to hijack an aircraft, so off they go to the airport. Well, by a miracle, they sneak through security and onto the tarmac and get inside this jet. But it's bigger than they expected, and the guy who was going to fly it is having a hard time getting it started.

        "Hurry up, hurry up!", his friend says, "I can hear sirens! The police are coming!"

        "I'm going as fast as I can!", his friend says, "...but I need more time! I'm a simple Pole in a complex plane!"

        I'll be here all week.

  11. Turtle

    Survey.

    "While Loguidice earlier this week resisted suggestions a name change might be in order ("It’s still America. Last time I checked, we were still on this side of the planet," she told the NY Daily News), the Wandering Dago Facebook page now has a poll asking Joe Public to vote on the matter. "

    Even though I don't have a Facebook account, I can access their poll and see that it lacks an option allowing the "voters" to cast their vote in support of a proposition along the lines of "I think that Loguidice and Snooks are complete assholes".

    This is a glaring omission, severely undermining the scientific value of the poll.

  12. Vulch

    See also...

    Baron Silas Greenbacks henchcrow Stiletto who had to be revoiced as a dodgy Londoner for US distribution.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: See also...

      +1 for the DM reference.

      Si Baroney

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: See also...

      Funny isn't it that somehow it is okay in the US to stereotype the British as either clueless poshos or cockney thugs, when it is well known that those groups make up no more than 70% of our actual population.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The "Wandering Wop"

    Perhaps?

    (Though that word was removed from the US edition of "The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy", I was once told.)

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: The "Wandering Wop"

      So please tell us what 100,000 people in a cricket stadium eliciting a single sound at the same time is supposed to sound like in America then?

      1. smudge

        Re: The "Wandering Wop"

        Apparently it sounds like "whop".

        As in "whang", "whank" and "whilly".

      2. Michael Hawkes
        Megaphone

        Re: The "Wandering Wop"

        100,000 people in a cricket stadium wouldn't sound like anything in America, because we don't have cricket stadiums that large.

        1. Turtle

          @Michael Hawkes

          "100,000 people in a cricket stadium wouldn't sound like anything in America, because we don't have cricket stadiums that large."

          If we did have a cricket stadium that large, crickets would be the only thing that you would ever hear in it - and even that only on warm summer nights.

          On the other hand, going to a "footie" match and hearing "There Were Ten German Bombers In The Air" would be amusing!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If they are Italian American themselves, I don't see the problem in them using it, it's obviously being used in an endearing way and not intending to cause offence, much in the same way rappers in the US use the term 'Nigga' all the time, Irish use 'Micks', etc.

    Funny how well meaning liberals tend to start acting with the fascist tendencies they so despise. Since when were you allowed to tell someone how they can refer to themselves?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Jewish comedians do it all the time too.

      A gaming website I was a member of ages ago had a pretty popular user called Dago, that was ok, even to the pretty heavy-handed mods. God help anyone that used the word "fag" though. Tsk, Americans eh? What's wrong with nipping outside to suck on a fag? :)

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon
        Coat

        "Tsk, Americans eh? What's wrong with nipping outside to suck on a fag? :)"

        Nothing at all, especially if you also have a cigarette afterwards.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        "sk, Americans eh? What's wrong with nipping outside to suck on a fag? :)"

        Because in America, "fag" an abbreviation for "faggot", which is an even worse epithet to a male homosexual than "queer" (probably because it's supposed to deride the act rather than the appearance that "queer" provokes). So the word's basically an insult to any man (you're either deriding a homosexual or implying a straight man is not).

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
          Facepalm

          @Charles 9

          That whooshing sound you just heard was the point passing over your head at 60,000 feet.

          I think most people, the OP included, know what 'fag' means in the US. You do seem to be, however, a remarkable example of why a lot of people on this side of the pond think that Americans have no understandng of irony.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: @Charles 9

            No, the whoosh was the sound of the basketball court down the road. Your comments weren't ironic ENOUGH. First rule about irony, sarcasm, or some other form of intentional untruth: be prepared to be taken seriously.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon

              Re: @Charles 9

              "Your comments weren't ironic ENOUGH. First rule about irony, sarcasm, or some other form of intentional untruth: be prepared to be taken seriously."

              Wow, you may fail on irony, but your pomposity is right up there!

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      The problem in this case is they're not disparaging their own race the way Blacks and Irish are. They're disparaging Hispanics, too, while they're of Italian descent.

      1. unitron

        Only if that food truck can drive across the Atlantic.

        Over here I've never heard of Dago meaning anything except Italian, although for years now it's seldom been used even for that.

  15. AceRimmer

    For their next company name inspiration...

    ... some one should send them a Dam Busters DVD

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    *Italian* American ?

    LoGuidice sounds more Sicilian

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: *Italian* American ?

      At the risk of doing an 'Alan Davis in QI'...Sicily is in Italy, since 1861 according to Wikipedia.

      1. Wize

        Re: *Italian* American ?

        Tempted to go awoooooga awooooooga but you are correct.

        It is owned by Italy but many American Italians remember back when it was a lot more regional, although it happened before their lifetime (kind of like the way some people go on about winning the world cup long before they were born)

      2. Dan Paul
        Devil

        Re: *Italian* American ?

        Sorry, but any self respecting Sicilian will beg to differ (and beat the living crap outta youse to boot)

        Dat's Sicilian American to youse (Brooklyn accent is optional) You should know that the Sicilian dialect is nearly incomprehensible by an Italian.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for the footnote

    Typical bloody USAians - can't even keep their racial slurs straight.

  18. smudge
    Alert

    Deemed offensive to Italian Americans, oddly, not Hispanics

    Italian Americans, New York, race track, powers-that-be - perhaps there's a possibility of sleeping with the fishes which takes priority over anything the Hispanics might say?

    1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Re: Deemed offensive to Italian Americans, oddly, not Hispanics

      "Dago" is just not that much used for Hispanics in the US. You might as well complain about our use of "chips".

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Deemed offensive to Italian Americans, oddly, not Hispanics

        I don't. I just have to remember that what the British consider "chips" deviates from the American concept (which IIRC is the original, as an American chef invented what Americans call the potato chip).

  19. Bryan Hall

    Grow a pair

    If it offends you - don't eat there. I hate people who hide behind others (usually the government) because they don't like something or are offended.

    If you have something to say - say it. If you can't man up enough to do that - go away you wimps.

  20. Faye B
    Coat

    I was wondering

    Good job they didn't call themselves Wandering Jews then.

  21. channel extended

    Smoke my faggot?

    A faggot is aso known as a piece of wood used on a fire or in a stove. So I like to have a lot of faggots on hand to keep me warm.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Smoke my faggot?

      A faggot is also (in parts of Britain) a ball of minced pork and pig offal served in gravy.

      I suppose you could have them smoked, same as you do kippers...

  22. graeme leggett

    Offensiveness scale

    Being a white Briton, its hard for me to understand the level of offence in some names, and the media sometimes over-reports the issue (Daily Fail?).

    Can we have a scale, with Register units, so that can see how for instance "dago" in the US lies with respect to UK "Eyetie" or "spaghetti muncher"?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An italian by any other name

    Call me anything you want, just don't call me late for dinner...

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