A gigolo (/ -/,) is a male escort or social companion who is supported by a woman in a continuing relationship, often living in her residence or having to be present at her beck and call.
The gigolo is expected to provide companionship, to serve as a consistent escort with good manners and social skills, and often to serve as a dancing partner as required by the woman in exchange for the support. Many gifts, such as expensive clothing and an automobile to drive, may be lavished upon him. The relationship may include sexual services as well, and he also can be referred to as a "kept man."
The word gigolo may be traced to a first usage in English as a neologism during the 1920s as a back-formation from gigolette, a French word for a woman hired as a dancing partner. Both gigolo and gigolette were first recorded in French in the middle part of the 19th century, referring to dance club denizens in Montmartre paid to dance with, and sometimes have sex with, unaccompanied male visitors. In the latter part of the 19th century, particularly after the scandalous murder case known in Paris as the Pranzini Affair, the term gigolo took on connotations of the exotic, foreign male whose company and affections could be purchased by well-to-do French women.
In popular culture
- Gigolo (1926) - American silent romance drama film produced by Cecil B. DeMille
- Just a Gigolo (1931) - American romantic comedy directed by Jack Conway, starring William Haines, Irene Purcell, C. Aubrey Smith and Ray Milland
- Evenings for Sale (1932) - American romantic comedy, starring Herbert Marshall, Sari Maritza, Charlie Ruggles and Mary Boland
- Sunset Boulevard - American film noir co-written and directed by Bill Wilder, starring William Holden and Gloria Swanson
- The Gigolo (1960) - French romantic drama film written and directed by Jacques Deray. It is loosely based on the novel Le Gigolo written by Jacques Robert
- Just a Gigolo (1978) - West German film directed by David Hemmings and starring David Bowie
- American Gigolo (1980) - American romantic crime film written and directed by Paul Schrader, and starring Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton & Hector Elizondo
- Galactic Gigolo (1987) - American science-fiction comedy film directed by Gorman Bechard
- Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999) - American sex comedy film starring Rob Schneider, followed by the 2005 sequel Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
- The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (2003) - American television film remake of the 1961 film of the same name. Directed by Robert Allan Ackerman, it stars Helen Mirren and Brian Dennehy
- The Gigolos (2005) British comedy film directed by Richard Bracewell, starring Sacha Tarter, Ben Willbond, and Susannah York
- A French Gigolo (2008) - French drama film directed by Josiane Balasko and starring Nathalie Baye. It was based on the novel "Cliente" by Josiane Balasko
- Spread (2009) - American sex comedy film directed by David Mackenzie, starring Ashton Kutcher and Anne Heche. It was also released as L.A. Gigolo
- Fading Gigolo (2013) - American comedy film directed, written by, and starring John Turturro, co-starring Woody Allen, Sharon Stone & Sofia Vergara
- The Gigolo (Chinese: 鴨王) (2015) - Hong Kong erotic drama film directed and written by Au Cheuk-man and starring Dominic Ho and Candy Yuen, followed by the 2016 sequel The Gigolo 2 (Chinese: 鴨王2)
- "I'm a Gigolo" - 1929 Broadway show tune by Cole Porter, written for the revue Wake Up and Dream
- "Just a Gigolo" - adapted by Irving Caesar in 1929 from the Austrian tango "Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo"
- "The Gigolo" - 1966 album by jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan
- "Gigolo" - 1981 dance single released by R&B singer Mary Wells
- "Gigolo" - 1987 single by The Damned
- "Gigolo" - a song recorded in 1991 by Liz Phair later rerecorded as "Can't Get Out of What I'm Into" for her album Somebody's Miracle
- "Gigolo" - 2006 song by Greek singer Helena Paparizou
- "Gael-Gigolos" - 2019 song by Irish rappers KNEECAP
- “Gigolo”- 2019 song by American rapper Young Thug
- "Definition of gigolo". Merriam-Webster Dictionary
- Otterman, Sharon, "'Swiss Gigolo' Sentenced to Six Years". 2009-03-09., The Lede, March 9, 2009, News, The New York Times, February 14, 2013.
- Dahlkamp,Jürgen, Röbel,Sven, and Smoltczyk, Alexander, Dahlkamp, Jürgen; Röbel, Sven; Smoltczyk, Alexander (2009-03-06). "Gigolo Trial: Trial to Begin for Man Who Duped Germany's Richest Woman". Spiegel Online., Spiegel Online International, accessed February 14, 2013.
- "A man who is kept by a woman"., Word Reference, accessed February 14, 2013.
- Freundschuh, Aaron. The Courtesan and the Gigolo: The Murders in the Rue Montaigne and the Dark Side of Empire in Nineteenth-Century Paris (2017, Stanford University Press)
- Chang, Juju; Thompson, Victoria; Harold, Kelly (February 16, 2012). "Secrets of Gigolos: Why More Women Say They Are Willing to Pay for Sex". ABC News Internet Ventures. Retrieved October 19, 2014.