Ever been called a gringo and felt insulted? ~ Learn Spanish language fast | free memory tricks | Spanish vocabulary lessons.
-->

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ever been called a gringo and felt insulted?


If you have ever visited a Latino neighborhood, chances are that you have been called a
gringo by the natives if you happen to be a non-Hispanic White. At the same time, I can bet, most of you must have also taken offense at this reference! Well, you can’t be blamed as it has been drilled into our brains that this is a term of racial abuse for non-Latinos used by the ones who speak Spanish.

But did you know how this word came into being or what it actually means? Well, it’s true that this is a Latino slang term that they use for any White whose native language isn’t Spanish. The American Heritage Dictionary and other English dictionaries classify the term as offensive slang, usually disparaging or often disparaging. However, the fact remains that many native speakers who use it do not do so pejoratively. Actually, it’s the context that decides whether the word has been used as an insult or a general reference. There is furthermore some variation in the connotation of this word between Latin America and the rest of the English-speaking world, and even among the countries within Latin America.

The Hispanic migrants in the United States occasionally use this word as a derogatory synonym of Anglo, though a more frequently word used in that sense is gabacho. In Mexico, the word gringo is not used for Americans. They use gabacho instead. And natives of Central-America use the word, gringo to refer to any North-American in general, with no insult intended. With no pejorative sense, the Caribbeans use gringo for all citizens of the US, while the Puerto-Ricans use the term for all Americans who live on the mainland United States. The Chileans, however, mean pure insult when they call you gringo!

According to the Spanish etymologist Joan Coromines, gringo is derived from griego (Spanish for Greek), the proverbial name 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), meaning barbarian. Still, scholars are not in agreement about the correct origin of this word.

So the next time somebody calls you a gringo, relate it to the context and the situation and judge whether it was an insult or not before you start sulking. It could be just a friendly term with no hidden intent!

Anonymous said...

Hey buddy,jill here I added your link to Http://cre8asite.blogspot.com ..your blog is awesome keep it up omego'

Anonymous said...

Dang right... I use the word gringo without insulting and when I use gringo in a message that is negative towards the U.S. Citizens, then it's similar to:

"The Italians are such idiots" (EXAMPLE!)

instead of

"The [insulting word for Italians] are such idiots"

Anonymous said...

Wow, you're a real idiot...and I mean that within an insulting context!
Wop, Kike, Spick, Nigger, Wetback can all be described in the same fashion that you describe gringo. Yet, if I were to call someone of Latin descent a spick, it would be considered very offensive regardless of my contextual meaning. I find that people use alternate words to describe something, or someone, do so with a pejorative context. If not, why wouldn't they just use the word that is correct. In the case of gringo, why not just say American or Northener. To say that gringo is not offensive and that all white people should just lighten up would be equal to a person from the early 20th century telling a black person to lighten up, nigger is just a term in reference to those with dark skin.
Again, you are an idiot and you should probably just shut up.

Anonymous said...

The word gringo as far as I know comes from two word: green and go, and when the people in latin america wanted the foreign people to go the shouted green (refering to the color of the dollar) go!, green go! and so the sound "grin...go" stick in the minds of the people till now

propinquitas said...

The word gringo is not offensive. In Chile we call gringo to every one who comes from a foreign country, but mainly from North America. If we want to offend you we will use a bad word next to gringo, but gringo by itself is not offensive, it's just a way to call you people, a friendly way...

online payday loans said...

It has been said that gringo originated in Mexico during the Mexican-American war because Americans would sing the song "Green Grow the Lilies." As the word originated in Spain long before there was a Spanish-speaking Mexico, there is no truth to this urban legend. In fact, at one time, the word in Spain was often used to refer specifically to the Irish. And according to a 1787 dictionary, it often referred to someone who spoke Spanish poorly.

anthony morrison said...

I do not recall ever having felt offended by anyone using the word, but numberless times people have felt compelled to ask me to forgive everything.

Hotel near dulles airport said...

do not recall ever having felt offended by anyone using the word, but numberless times people have felt compelled to ask me to forgive for no reason according to me.

Tiffany jewelry said...

These people had now retained several people and were not answering any questions. When it comes to such differences i never make such discrimination and i feel them to be the same.

ximike2101 said...

Different people have different views but can be calm in any case.

Herve leger on sale

christian louboutin said...

Different people have differet views.What we should do is just to respect them!
http://www.christianlouboutinlist.com

charmingcoach said...

gringo!I don't think it is an insult,Just for a foreigner distinguish.

vibramfivefingerscc said...

Be callde gringo may just means a friendly term with no hidden intent!

jimmy choo said...

Thanks authors to share these,it is necessary to learn Some countries some knowledge of custom.


Jimmy choo

coach handbag said...

it would be considered very offensive regardless of my contextual meaning. I find that people use alternate words to describe something, or someone, do so with a pejorative context.
I prefer to COACH, in order to better at the beach, specially prepared my COACH series POPPY canvas wing charm handbag.

prada shoes said...

Thank you for posting this article!I now understand the real meaning of gringo.


the newest style of Prada Shoes,come and have a look

prada handbags said...

Year,quite right.

Amazing cheap and beautiful [URL=http://www.pradaoutlet.org/]Prada Handbags[/URL],never miss this chance!

prada handbags said...

quite right!!!!!!!

Amazing cheap and beautiful Prada Handbags at http://www.pradaoutlet.org,never miss this chance!

pradasunglasses said...

Different people have different views but can be calm in any case.




[URL= http://www.pradaoutlet.org/]prada sunglasses[/URL]

herve leger said...

"Chinga tu madre." Just kidding, don't say that.
"No soy yanqui." They may or may not appreciate that. Usually in Mexico, only people from the US are gringos, but I would guess that most blonde, blue-eyed people in certain parts of Mexico are Americans (being of fair complexion is not that weird in some parts of Mexico), so it's not like they can tell. You could make a crack against George Bush, but that's probably passe now.

Christian louboutin said...

How can i avoid being called a gringo and how do i react elegantly? .... It was a learning experience for sure, in a good way, although I felt very weird about it at the time. ... It's not an insult. You are just not from there. .... Nobody would ever mistake me for a local, but sometimes my accent.

shure microphones said...

I learn more here.It’s true that this is a Latino slang term that they use for any White whose native language isn’t Spanish.

jimmy choo said...

The title has been attrat me.From the articlle I learn more thing about another country culture.Thank you for sharing.

Christian Louboutin said...

There is furthermore some variation in the connotation of this word between Latin America and the rest of the English-speaking world, and even among the countries within Latin America.

Tiffany jewelry said...

Every month new replica jewelry pieces are added to the collection and made available to those looking for celebrity inspired pieces at less than designer prices.The beautiful celebrity inspired jewelry line includes necklaces,bracelets, pendants,and earrings.

rosetta stone said...

In the case of gringo, why not just say American or Northener. green go! and so the sound "grin...go" stick in the minds of the people till now

Rosetta Stone said...

This is the most important thing is to see you, this is very crucial, think positively.

Juicy Couture Outlet Online said...

I think that The word gringo is not offensive.

Coach online outlet store said...

Learn to spit some glorious curse back about how you're not a fucking gringo like those stupid yankees and you'll make new friends.

Ray Ban sunglasses said...

Hey, it was on the menu and I felt like steak! ... Is "gringo" supposed to be an insult? I've been called it by some of my Hispanic friends ...

gucci handbags said...

Thank you for sharing with this wonderful information. I like your post very much. Hope to see your other post next time.

Coach Outlet Online said...

"Ever been called a gringo and felt insulted?"Oh,this is a problem,I think everyone is the same~

coach outlet said...

These are truly a great article where you can share with us. Sometimes it can be, depending on the similarities between their thinking and this information is really great to share with us. What do they expect others to see other people in the same situation.

gucci handbags said...

My usual reaction was a good laugh and telling whoever said it that it was better than being a Mexican. Of course the only people who have ever called me a Gringo have been my best friend since kindergarten and his brothers (All of whom were born in the same hospital I was born in) and it usually was after some stupid comment from anyone of us.

asics shoes outlet said...

However, the fact remains that many native speakers who use it do not do so pejoratively. Actually, it’s the context that decides whether the word has been used as an insult or a general reference. There is furthermore some variation in the connotation of this word between Latin America and the rest of the English-speaking world, and even among the countries within Latin America.

coach outlet said...

Thank you for sharing, you’re right, you’re just for me is very useful. I really like your post.

Juicy Couture said...

o the next time somebody calls you a gringo, relate it to the context and the situation and judge whether it was an insult or not before you start sulking.

asics shoes outlet said...

There is furthermore some variation in the connotation of this word between Latin America and the rest of the English-speaking world, and even among the countries within Latin America.

Nike shox shoes said...

Thanks a lot for the article. I really love to read such articles for you share different body of knowledge that people should know. I admire writers like you on providing great post that you dedicate your time in doing so. Thanks again and keep up the great work!

MAC Cosmetics said...

I think this article was probably a good kick off to a potential series of articles about this topic. So many writers pretend to know what they’re talking about when it comes to this topic and in reality, very few people actually get it. You seem to grasp it though, so I think you ought to take it and run. Thanks!

gucci outlet said...

This is a great post and makes me think of where I can fit in. I do a little bit of everything mentioned here and I guess I have to find my competitive advantage.

Kobe Bryant Shoes said...

Thanks for the fantastic blog post and it is nice to see such a postive blog that offers so much value so thank you for that. Awesome and interesting article. Great things you’ve always shared with us. Thanks again.

Kobe Bryant Shoes said...

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing ability has inspired me. Really the article is spreading its wings rapidly...

gucci outlet said...

A draggled muslin cap on his head and a dirty gunny-sack about his slim been obliged to seclude himself.

gucci said...

I am the first time on this site and am really enthusiastic about and so many good articles. I think it’s just very good.

gucci said...

Thanks a lot for the article. I really love to read such articles for you share different body of knowledge that people should know. I admire writers like you on providing great post that you dedicate your time in doing so. Thanks again and keep up the great work!

fleet gps said...

People use words to describe something or someone disparaging the alternative content you can find it. If not, why would you like to use just the right word.Up to a person all white people just lighten the Gringo, an attacker could be equal.

acne treatment california said...

When Gringo, just as other racists can be used in a friendly way, it is and remains a racist and the fact that it is very often used does not away from her real meaning is.It is particularly funny to me that the origin would have related to the voice of the rebels against an invasion force would take removes his intention to offend anything.

Tony said...

Gringo is not generally offensive (and it doesn't come from "green go"). I live in Peru and everyone calls me gringo. It doesn't bother me at all – it basically just means "foreigner."

German lessons Freiburg said...

I used to be more than happy to seek out this internet-site.I wished to thanks in your time for this glorious read!!

Family Lawyers said...

There are also some words in Latin and English meaning of the world changes, even in other Latin American countries.

sports nutrition said...

You must learn all the words before using any languages. We know Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world.

meio ambiente said...

They have, instead of using white guy. And the natives of Central America used the word means a gringo in North America in general, is not intended to insult.

Table Linen said...

There are also some changes, even in Latin America, Latin America and the English word, which means the rest of the world.

juicy Couture outlet said...

every person have different opinion .there ane have chance.We must be quiet in any case.

necklace said...

In Mexico, the word gringo, that Americans do not use. Gabacho used instead. Central America and the local use of the word gringo in North America in general.

Juicy Couture handbags said...

Different people have different views but can be calm in any case

Toronto IT Services said...

This is the case, decide the use of the word as an insult or a general reference. In Latin America and the rest of the English-speaking world between the meaning of the word.

karen millen outlet said...

Moncler Sito Ufficiale clothes have become serious point of view,Piumini Moncler Uomo Collection si riflette sul origini nella confezione leggendario trapuntato,Moncler Outlet is the answer to many questions that come to mind in terms of women's clothing.juicy couture diaper bag supplies mommies an substitute to discreetly have their Juicy Couture Backpack devoid of even noticing it's got diaper in it.juicy couture outlet:The design style of juicy couture sale is emphasized sweet girl, 2011 autumn-winter Juicy Couture Bags new design consistent Juicy Couture Sale continued the characteristic.Juicy Couture Coupons is available for you.Stylish Juicy Couture Sunglasses,Juicy Couture Glasses,Juicy Couture Eyeglasses would be your best companion,and never miss the charming Juicy Couture Jewelry,Juicy Couture Necklace,Juicy Couture Bracelet.juicy couture purses are selling on the market like pancakes. juicy couture handbags are made out of durable materials including leather and velour etc. prada shoes first made his appearance a century ago in the world of fashion prada outlet and soon made its presence felt e en among the nun fashionable people,prada handbags,prada sneakers are very popular by many people.Juicy couture outlet lines are constantly supplying the best and fashionable products and ideas.

Lone Mountain Truck Leasing said...

There are also some changes, even in Latin America, Latin America and the Anglo - Saxon rest of the world between the meaning of the word.

Anonymous said...

When I (a white person from USA) and another guy (a white person from Canada) were walking back to our hostel in Mexico and someone yelled out "gringo!" from his car window, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that probably wasn't said without malice.