Feeds

'Wandering Dago' tuck truck ejected from NY race track

Deemed offensive to Italian Americans, oddly, not Hispanics

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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 at Saratoga Race Course during the thoroughbred racing season, which kicked off last Friday.

Andrea Loguidice and Brandon Snooks pose with their Wandering Dago truck. Pic: Facebook/Wandering Dago

However, no sooner had they set up shop that the New York Racing Association (NYRA) gave the pair their marching orders, following trackgoer complaints.

Loguidice lamented: "What we thought was a wonderful opportunity never really got a chance to start."

NYRA spokesman Eric Wing explained: “We should have handled this before opening day last Friday, but once we started receiving complaints, we wanted to take immediate action on behalf of our customers. We have a very diverse crowd with families and people of every age, and when any of our patrons say that they’re offended by something, that concerns us tremendously.”

Last year, Wandering Dago was denied a permit to sell food at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, on similar grounds. Heather Groll, spokeswoman for the plaza's operators, said: "The name of the business was found to be an offensive ethnic slur by any standard."

Loguidice and Snooks are themselves Italian-American, and believe the word dago derives from a reference to "Italian immigrants who were day laborers, and were paid daily, or as the day goes".

Loguidice said: “Our daily pay depends on what happens that day, so we just thought it was a fun play on words. We didn’t think it was derogatory in any manner. It’s self-referential. Who would self-reference themselves in a derogatory manner?”

In fact, "dago" comes from the name Diego, and was originally used in nautical circles to refer to Spanish and Portuguese sailors*. Later, Americans adopted it as a less than polite moniker for Italian immigrants, described by Anthony J Tamburri, dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, as "the most offensive term one could use with regard to an Italian-American".

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. ®

Bootnote

* As Brit readers will know, the word is still used on this side of the Pond, and indeed planet, as a rude word for Spaniards.

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!
Allegations were for 'financial gain', countersuit claims
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'
Spooks ask Dabbsy to suggest a nice hotel with pool
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.