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Encyclopedia > Gringo
An American woman reads the Gringo Gazette in Cabo San Lucas.
An American woman reads the Gringo Gazette in Cabo San Lucas.
A Restaurant named Gringo's in Stafford, Texas
A Restaurant named Gringo's in Stafford, Texas

Gringo (feminine, gringa) is a term in the Spanish and Portuguese languages used in some countries of Latin America to refer to white foreigners from different cultures, particularly English-speakers, and especially from the United States, although it can also refer to people from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries, including in some cases other countries of Latin America itself.[1][2][3] Baby Rasta y Gringo (born Wilmer Alicea and Samuel Gerena, respectively) are a Reggaeton duo from Puerto Rico, famous for their track El Carnaval (The Carnival). ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2592 × 1944 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2592 × 1944 pixel, file size: 2. ... Cover of the May 14, 2007 issue The Gringo Gazette is an English-language newspaper published every other week for the American expatriate communities in Baja California and Baja California Sur, Mexico. ... Cabo is well known for its pristine beaches. ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ...


Some disagreement exists among English speakers regarding whether gringo is a derogatory term. The American Heritage Dictionary and other English dictionaries classify the term as "offensive slang", "usually disparaging" or "often disparaging".[4] The term gringo does lend itself to derogatory, paternalistic or endearing connotations sometimes, depending on the context and the intent of the user.[2][3] However, many native speakers who use it do not do so pejoratively,[2][3] as is also the case with some English speakers.[5][6] The enunciation of the word can often give away whether it was meant in a derogatory manner or not.[1][2][3] There is furthermore some variation in the connotation of this word from country to country within Latin America. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (AHD) is a dictionary of American English published by Boston publisher Houghton-Mifflin, the first edition of which appeared in 1969. ... For other uses, see Slang (disambiguation). ...


Much like many otherwise derogatory terms, the term has also been embraced by some. Drummer Randy Ebright, of the band Molotov, has dubbed himself El Gringo Loco, "The Crazy Gringo".[7] Molotov is a Mexican rock and hip hop band formed in Mexico City on September 23, 1995. ...

Contents

Meaning

  • The Anglosphere: Latino migrants to the USA occasionally use the term as a more derogatory synonym of Anglo.[citation needed]
  • Mexico, Central America, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, South America: In these areas the word may mean specifically a citizen of the United States.
  • In Central America, the word is not pejorative, merely used to refer to a person from North America. In the Caribbean (especially in Cuba and the Dominican Republic, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua) the term refers to U.S. citizens[1] . In the Dominican Republic it also means a non-free range store bought chicken (pollo gringo)[citation needed]. In Puerto Rico, the term refers to American Citizens in the U.S. mainland.
  • In South America, the word is not pejorative. In some countries it may be used to refer to any foreigner who does not speak Spanish, but in other countries it is used just or especially to refer to U.S. citizens; it may also be used to describe a blond or brunette white native person with soft facial features and light colored eyes. For instance, it is a popular nickname.[citation needed]
    • In Uruguay and Chile, apart from being used to refer to American citizens, it can be applied to European people; particularly those who conform to the physical stereotype (blond hair, blue eyes, fair skin).
    • In Peru the word gringo is used all over the country among white and non white population. It is used to refer white Europeans, U.S. citizens and also blond local people. It is not pejorative although creole.
    • In Bolivia, Honduras, Chile and Nicaragua gringo is also used to refer to blonde white local people, not only to U.S citizens. It is not pejorative[1].
  • In Ecuador the word gringo can be used to refer to foreigners from any country, not only the United States, though the likelihood of being described as a gringo increases the closer one's physical appearance is to that of a stereotypical northern European.[2]
  • In Brazil the word is used for north Americans and European citizens (less Portuguese). The word is not pejorative and is not related to eye and hair colors, because blond and light eyed people are common in Brazil.

Definitions of the Anglosphere vary: Countries in which English is the first language of a large fraction of the population are shown in blue. ... For the Brazilian pop singer, see Latino (singer). ... Look up anglo in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Central America (disambiguation). ... West Indies redirects here. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... North American redirects here. ... For the white Hispanic population of the United States, please see White Hispanic Languages Portuguese, Spanish, and other languages. ...

Etymology

According to the Catalan etymologist Joan Coromines, gringo is derived from griego (Spanish for "Greek"), the archetypal term for an unintelligible language (a usage found also in the Shakespearean "it was Greek to me" and its derivative "It's all Greek to me"). From referring simply to language, it was extended to people speaking foreign tongues and to their physical features - similar to the development of the ancient Greek word βάρβαρος (bárbaros), "barbarian".[8][9][10] Still, scholars are not in agreement about the correct origin of this word.[3] Joan Coromines i Vigneaux, in Spanish Joan Corominas (Barcelona, 1905 - Pineda de Mar, Catalonia, 1997), was a linguist who made important contributions to the study of Catalan, Spanish and other Romance languages. ... Archetype is defined as the first original model of which all other similar persons, objects, or concepts are merely derivative, copied, patterned, or emulated. ... For other uses, see Barbarian (disambiguation). ...


Folk etymologies

There are many popular but unsupported etymologies for this word, many of which relate it to the United States Army in some way or another. A false etymology is an assumed or postulated etymology which is incorrect from the perspective of modern scholarly work in historical linguistics. ... The United States Army is the largest, and by some standards oldest, established branch of the armed forces of the United States and is one of seven uniformed services. ...


Mexican-American War

A recurring etymology of gringo states that it originated during the Mexican-American War of 1846-48. Gringo comes from "green coat" and was used in reference to the American soldiers and the green color of their uniforms (U.S. Army uniforms of the time were blue). Yet another story, from Mexico, holds that Mexicans with knowledge of the English language used to write "greens go home" on street walls referring to the color of the uniforms of the invading army; subsequently, it became a common habitual action for the rest of the population to yell "green go" whenever U.S. soldiers passed by. Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Zachary Taylor Winfield Scott Stephen W. Kearney Antonio López de Santa Anna Mariano Arista Pedro de Ampudia José Mariá Flores Strength 78,790 soldiers 25,000–40,000 soldiers Casualties KIA: 1733 Total dead: 13,271 Wounded: 4,152 AWOL: 9,200+ 25,000... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1848 (MDCCCXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... For other uses, see Green (disambiguation). ... Color is an important part of the visual arts. ... For other uses, see Uniform (disambiguation). ...


These explanations are unlikely, since the U.S. Army did not use green uniforms until the 1940's, but rather blue ones, and after that brown (early 20th century including World War I).[11][2]


Another assertion maintains that one of two songs – either "Green Grow the Lilacs" or "O Green Grow the Rushes" – was popular at the time and that Mexicans heard the invading U.S. troops singing "Green grow..." and contracted this into gringo. Green Grow the Lilacs is a folk song of Irish origin that was popular in the United States during the mid 1800s. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


However, there is ample evidence that the use of the word predates the Mexican-American War.[3][8][2][9]


Green uniforms during other armed conflicts

Another version of the story, heard in Brazil, refers to the United States Army base near Natal, Brazil during World War II. The American soldiers, wearing green uniforms, supposedly would be commanded "green, go!" by their sergeants during training. The United States Army is the largest, and by some standards oldest, established branch of the armed forces of the United States and is one of seven uniformed services. ... Via Costeira, Natal. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... For other uses, see Sergeant (disambiguation). ...


The "green go" etymology can also be heard in Panama, where it is said that during the time when the U.S. Army occupied the Canal Zone, people would chant it alongside "Yankee go home!" when partaking in street protests. Antiamericanism being expressed in Stockholm, Sweden Yankee, go home, or Yankees, go home is a phrase used to express anger at American presence in a foreign land. ...


"Green coat" stories can also be heard in most other Latin American countries, with numerous variations. Some stories have the term originating as recently as the Vietnam war. Other stories attribute the term to other conflicts, all of which occurred too late in history to account for the earliest usages of the word. Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000...


Other derivations from the word "green"

In the Dominican Republic it is said that the term was a mispronunciation of the words "green gold", referring to the green color of U.S. currency, as well as the corruption of the exclamation: "green go!", said to have voiced local opposition within the volatile context of both U.S. military interventions to the Island. Another interpretation makes a generalized character judgment of Americans: "they see 'green' (money) and they 'go' (after it)".


Yet another version, also heard in Brazil, claims that when the British were building the railroads in Brazil in the beginning of the 20th century, they would instruct the locals on how traffic lights worked: red, stop; green, go. The British were thereafter known as gringo. This is the top-level page of WikiProject trains Rail tracks Rail transport refers to the land transport of passengers and goods along railways or railroads. ... This article is about a traffic control device. ...


Other uses

In the context of Mexican cuisine, a gringa is a flour tortilla taco of spiced pork (carne al pastor) with cheese (mostly Manchego, Chihuahua or Oaxaca cheese). The combination is heated on the comal until piping hot and then served with a choice of salsa. Not to be confused with Tex-Mex, which is often referred to as Mexican food in the U.S. Mexican food is a style of food that originated in Mexico. ... For other uses, see Taco (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Taco (Disambiguation) Tacos al pastor Plate of tacos A taco is a traditional Mexican dish comprising a rolled or folded, pliable tortilla (of either maize or wheat flour) filled with meat (generally grilled beef, pork, or variety meats such as tongue or brains), chili-based salsa... Manchego cheese Manchego cheese is a sheeps milk cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain. ... A white cows-milk cheese of Mexican origin available in braids, balls or rounds. ... Oaxaca Cheese is a semi-hard cheese produced and known only in Mexico. ... COMAL (COMmon Algorithmic Language) is a computer programming language developed in Denmark by Benedict Løfstedt and Børge Christensen in 1973. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...


In the 1950s, the 50 Mexican peso bill was called ojo de gringa ("gringa's eye") because it was blue.[12] ISO 4217 Code MXN User(s) Mexico Inflation 3. ...


Gringolandia

The word Gringolandia (Gringo-land) is often used as a mock replacement for United States of America.[citation needed] A possible motive for resorting to the word is that the United States lacks a one-word name other than the ambiguous "America." It could also be derived from mixing the words "gringo" and "disneyladia" (disneyland), since many latinamerican tourist visit disneyland when coming to the U.S. For people living in the American Continent but outside the U.S., it is confusing and impractical to call the U.S. America (besides the political significance of such an action). And so Gringolandia serves that purpose, albeit in an humorous fashion. Motto: (traditional) In God We Trust (official, 1956–present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at the federal level; English de facto Government Federal Republic  - President George W. Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence - Declared - Recognized... The word America has several meanings: Geographical and political The Americas: North, Central, and South America. ...


Quotations

  • "Goodbye, if you hear of my being stood up against a Mexican stone wall and shot to rags please know that I think that a pretty good way to depart this life. It beats old age, disease, or falling down the cellar stairs. To be a Gringo in Mexico – ah, that is euthanasia!" – Ambrose Bierce (last words of his final written communication, a letter to his niece, Lora, in December 1913.)

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (June 24, 1842 – 1914?) was an American editorialist, journalist, short-story writer and satirist, today best known for his Devils Dictionary. ...

See also

Look up anglo in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The characters for Gaikokujin. ... Goy (Hebrew: גוי, plural goyim גוים) is a transliterated Hebrew word which translates as nation or people. // A page from Elia Levitas Yiddish-Hebrew-Latin-German dictionary (16th century) contains a list of nations, including word גוי, translated to Latin as Ethnicus In the Hebrew Bible, goy and its variants appear over... Güero (Alternatively spelled Guero or Huero pron. ... Look up 鬼佬, gweilo in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Old Gringo is a 1989 film, starring Jane Fonda and Gregory Peck. ... Pakeha is a New Zealand English word for European New Zealanders, that is, New Zealanders of predominantly European descent. ... Pocho is a slur used to describe a Hispanic who is born and/or raised in the United States. ... Use of the word American in the English language differs between historical, geographical and political contexts. ... For the Major League Baseball team, see New York Yankees. ...

References

  1. ^ a b c d Diccionario de la lengua española, Royal Spanish Academy, 22nd. edition
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "In Brazil, Not All Gringos Are Equal", by Thaddeus Blanchette; an article on the meaning of 'gringo' in Brazil
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Origin of the word gringo", J.H. Coffman, letter to the editor, Honduras This Week, Saturday, January 11, 1997 Online Edition 37.
  4. ^ American Heritage Dictionary, Dictionary.com, Merriam Webster Online
  5. ^ For example, Gringo Records is an American website named after this word.
  6. ^ The Internet Movie Database's entry for Old Gringo, an American film
  7. ^ MTV website
  8. ^ a b Griego at Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico, Vol. III, Joan Corominas, José A. Pascual, Editorial Gredos, Madrid, 1989, ISBN 84-249-1365-5
  9. ^ a b Urban Legends Reference Pages
  10. ^ Ask Yahoo: How did the term "gringo" originate?
  11. ^ Army Quartermaster Foundation, Inc. Homepage
  12. ^ See a picture at the Banco de México website.
Look up gringo in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
The Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy or RAE) is the institution responsible for regulating the Spanish language. ... For the in-memory database management system, see In-memory database. ... Joan Coromines i Vigneaux, in Spanish Joan Corominas (Barcelona, 1905 - Pineda de Mar, Catalonia, 1997), was a linguist who made important contributions to the study of Catalan, Spanish and other Romance languages. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Gringo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (928 words)
Gringo (feminine, gringa) is a term in the Spanish and Portuguese languages used in some countries of Latin America to refer to native English speakers (from the United States in particular, but also from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and elsewhere) as well as other non-English speakers of European heritage.
It has been claimed that Gringo comes from "green coat" and was used in reference to the American soldiers and the green color of their uniforms.
In the Dominican Republic it is said that the term was a mispronunciation of the words green gold, referring to the green color of USA currency, as well as the corruption of the exclamation: "green go!", said to have voiced local oposition within the volatile context of both U.S. military interventions to the Island.
The Myth of Gringo Honasan: The Soldier as Messiah (1170 words)
Gringo Honasan has propagated the myth of the warrior-hero and used his mystique to stoke the rebelliousness in the barracks.
Senator Gregorio 'Gringo' Honasan went into hiding after being accused of being the ringleader of the July 27 mutiny that took place at the Oakwood Hotel in Makati.
Gringo Honasan at the height of the junior officers' mutiny in Oakwood.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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