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The History of the Golliwog/ Gollywog

The Gollywog name is thought to have originated at the end of the 19th Century from the  British soldiers who were occupying the then colonised Egypt. The Egyptian labour force all used to wear a tag on their clothes marked as W.O G.S. This meant "Working On Government Service". The English used to refer to the workers as Ghuls - which is Arabic for desert ghost.

The kids of the workers used to make dolls made out of black stuffed material. These were then gifted to the soldiers or bought by the service men who in turn, returned home to England with this new creation.

The dolls were known at Ghuliwogs, this then turned into the name Golliwog that we know today.