HomeQ&ADoes "gringo" offend you?

Does "gringo" offend you?

3
votes

It is an interesting word with a speculative history. (May have originated from "ojos grís," es una teoría.)

Personally, I don't find it offensive even when it is (rarely) tossed in my direction. De hecho, a veces, uso gringo referir yo mismo decir algo en broma.

My favorite form of the word is "Gringolandia," meaning, of course, the EEUU, but also parts of Mexico that have been "gringoized," como la area "Santa Fe" en DF.

Mostly, I just find "gringo" amusing.

By contrast, I am highly offended when anyone uses "wetback" or "mojado" within earshot. I usually make my opinion known.

PS: Is "gringo" only a Latin American construct? How about Puerto Rico? Spain?

8898 views
updated OCT 11, 2011
edited by 00494d19
posted by 0057ed01
buen hilo/good thread - Nicole-B, NOV 11, 2009
HI volpon, post this in the general discussion area, please:) - 00494d19, NOV 12, 2009
Sorry! I thought I had posted it there. Got too wrapped up in re-writing it, I suppose. Thanks for moving it. - 0057ed01, NOV 12, 2009

23 Answers

6
votes

Words do not bother me. However the context of usage and tone in the voice is what may offend me.

You can call me the nastiest thing you can think of, and I will not care unless it is used with malicious intent.

Words considered not normally offensive, if used in the right context, will offend me.

You fluffy bunny! - If someone called me that with a truly hateful sneer in their voice, and used as malicious, then yes I might be offended. (maybe, or just laugh at them, but you get the idea.)

Gringo would not bother me at all, if it was not being used as a word to hurt or with bad intentions. It would bother me if it was meant as a derogetory put down.

I hope you understand what I am trying to say.

updated ENE 8, 2010
posted by cheeseisyummy
I was just going to express this same sentiment. That's happened a few times with us before...they do say great minds think alike... - aloshek, NOV 11, 2009
I understand you, you big fluffy, cheesy bunny!! jeje...and I mean that with the utmost respect!! - Nicole-B, NOV 11, 2009
I voted for you, just in case my comment offended you. :) - Nicole-B, NOV 11, 2009
the nerve of some people! lol, no im just kidding im not offended, I really doubt you could offend me nicole - cheeseisyummy, NOV 11, 2009
jejejejje, the nerv,,,I agreee..."Hands up for banning NIcole"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - 00494d19, NOV 12, 2009
derogatory-misspelling: Boy, does that offend me! :-) - 0074b507, NOV 12, 2009
6
votes

The etymological origins of the word gringo are deeply embedded in American Society as one of the great discoveries of our national past-times. It was actually the collective effort of thousands of New York Jets fans that gave birth to this controversial word. It is highly misunderstood because non-Jet fans fail to comprehend the intricacies of its very delicate pronunciation. It is a rhythmic, repetitious chant of Go Green, Go Green, Go Green that when articulated in a rapid verbal manner gives the false impression that thousands of fans are calling their revered heroes on the field gringo.

updated NOV 13, 2009
posted by 0068e2f4
rofl thats hilarious - cheeseisyummy, NOV 11, 2009
Oh man, robertico, that's baaaaaaaaad...bad! - aloshek, NOV 11, 2009
good one. - webdunce, NOV 13, 2009
lol rofl - Valerie, NOV 13, 2009
3
votes

I'm too dumb to be offended by it. Seriously. If I grew up with the word being thrown around in a negative context, like the last thing in the world anybody would want to be would be a dirty, low down, rotten, egg-sucking gringo, well hey, I'd be pretty ticked off if someone called me that.

But I have no such background. So it really doesn't hurt. I might even have a license plate made with that on it or something. smile

updated ENE 8, 2010
posted by Goyo
3
votes

I have been called a gringa so many times, I have lost count. It does not offend me in the least. I don't know if the word originally had bad connotations or not. There are plenty of words that we use today, that if spoken decades ago, would be offensive.

I know the term is used not only in Mexico,but also in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. I am not sure about South America and Spain.

I have had friends and people I am close to refer to me as a gringa. These are all people I care about and trust. I am sure they would not purposely call me something offensive. They are mostly all people who feel free to joke around with me, but they would never purposely hurt me.

What is that old expression?..."You can call me anything, but do not call me late for dinner." Well you can even call me late to dinner. I don't care. wink LOL

updated ENE 8, 2010
posted by Nicole-B
My (cuban) cousin used to call his wife "la gringa" - 0068e2f4, NOV 11, 2009
Ā”Gringa! jejeje - Goyo, NOV 11, 2009
from mexico, all the way south to argentina and chile. - zenejero, NOV 13, 2009
3
votes

I can't believe you wrote that.big surprise That makes me feel kind of green.sick LOL Just kidding.

updated ENE 8, 2010
edited by Rex_W
posted by Rex_W
jejejej, ok, here it goes: "hands up for banning volopon"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - 00494d19, NOV 12, 2009
ok, you get a vote for the cool border. - webdunce, NOV 13, 2009
Thanks, webdunce. You must be using Firefox or Google Chrome. - Rex_W, NOV 13, 2009
2
votes

Etymology From Spanish gringo < griego (“‘Greek’”), used for anyone who spoke an unintelligible language.


To me it's like Jewish people calling all non-Jews gentiles. I choose to believe that it is simply a way for a group to differentiate themselves from a collective.

And just as cheeseisyumm said before, it's all about how you say it.

On a side note, when I lived in a larger city, the Spanish speaking population was always referred to as Hispanic. When I moved to a more rural area, they referred to them as Mexicans. Initially, "Mexicans" sounded rude to me. It´s a case in point of how the prevailing culture of an area colors your prespective.

updated ENE 8, 2010
edited by aloshek
posted by aloshek
Yes, where I live, if you have olive skin, black hair, speak Spanish, and aren't obviously Asian, then you are....Mexican. - webdunce, NOV 13, 2009
2
votes

I have rarely ever seen a white person in America be offended by a slur that is directed against them. The dominant white group in the U.S. has a too strong of a history rooted in egotism to feel like slurs against them carry any weight. They are essentially bullet proof.

updated NOV 12, 2009
posted by Fredbong
Provocative response. Lots to ponder. I'm inclined to agree, though. - 0057ed01, NOV 12, 2009
1
vote

I don't find it offensive. However I do find it unfriendly and somewhat rude.

updated FEB 8, 2012
posted by billy-jones
1
vote

First of all gringo isn't a word that used just for white/ anglo people, even though many people born in the US think so. Anyone who is born in the US is considered a gringo to someone in Latin America. I went to Mexico and El Salvador with friends and people asked if we were gringas because we had english accents. I am filipino/salvadoran and I have dark hair and brown skin so they obviously couldn't mistake me for anglo LOL.

Also, I heard the term gringo came about during the time when the US had troops in Mexico in 1800s The troops supposedly wore green uniforms. As a result this caused the native people to say "Green go", but with the spanish accent and it transformed to gringo. My spanish professor told me that, but I'm not sure how accurate that is. I also heard that the U.S. had blue uniforms back then and not green so I'm not sure.

updated OCT 11, 2011
edited by jdelel
posted by jdelel
The " Green go " story is the one I've heard the most often, but that doesn't neccesarily make it so! jeje - Valerie, NOV 13, 2009
1
vote

Really, the only time I've encountered this word was at my highschool. Kids that took Spanish but could never roll their RRs were called gringos, apparently by the rest of the class or maybe the teacher, I don't know. I took Latin and French and we had no comparable habit.

So, I've thought it meant a person unable to roll their RRs all this time.

updated ENE 8, 2010
posted by webdunce
1
vote

In certain countries where i've lived, it not only refers to people from the US, but to English speakers and or everyone who was blond.

Oh yes... sometimes, even if you're from the same country but blond they will call you gringo. Just because.

I still find it somewhat cute and amusing.

updated ENE 8, 2010
posted by zenejero
1
vote

I hear güero more than gringo and neither one bothers me. I have Mexican friends that call me all kinds of things when we are joking around and I return the favor.

updated ENE 8, 2010
posted by lorenzo9
1
vote

The first time I had ever heard it was way down in Southern Mexico. We were driving through a small town and the children came out waving and yelling "Hola gringos". In my mind they were being friendly. I asked a guy from Honduras what gringo meant and he said "white American". So I guess by that definition that I am in fact a gringo.

updated ENE 8, 2010
posted by Seitheach
1
vote

Hóla Volponecito.No I dont find the term necessarily offensive as I was under the impression that the term was used to indicate a person that did not speak Spanish.I have never come across the expression whilst living in Spain these last eight and a half years although the term extranjero crops up quite often as does the termBlanco. What I do object to,most wholeheartedly is the term ``Guirri``.This is extremely disrespective and I do not approve of the word.It is akin to the wordwog` and is extremely offensive to me.¿Qué piensas Volponecita?

updated ENE 8, 2010
posted by ray
1
vote

¡Mis amigos mexicanos me han asegurado que es un término afectuoso! Trato de no buscar algo ofenderme, ciertamente yo lo encontraré.

updated ENE 8, 2010
posted by Jack-OBrien
Absolutely ANYTHING can be used as an affectionate term in the right context. There are people out there who affectionately calll each other mf-ers. :) But don't worry, I agree with you. - Valerie, NOV 13, 2009
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