The origin of the word "gringo"

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AJL6767

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A much simpler version. With the difference between the languages of the "Americans" and the " Mexicans " there was difficulty communicating. The mexicans used gold and silver as currency. The Americans used the " greenback " which was paper money backed up by gold. The Americans would show the paper dollars and say " green-gold " which in translation became grin-go.
As an aside, when the Americans were in the wild west area, they did not have sanitary paper to wipe their rear ends and had to use grasses. Thats where the term grassias comes from
 

pelaut

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Thanks.
Always discounted the "Green grow the rushes O" (unless there was a soldierly dirty version around that the rapscalious Irish irregulars could sing).
And the green uniform? During the period of young America, the regulars complained bitterly that Washington sent them west and south with the hot and sweaty blue wool uniforms that they had in stock. BTW, German and Irish immigrants made up a good part of US conscripts, and often black freemen made up half.
 

Pib

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A much simpler version. With the difference between the languages of the "Americans" and the " Mexicans " there was difficulty communicating. The mexicans used gold and silver as currency. The Americans used the " greenback " which was paper money backed up by gold. The Americans would show the paper dollars and say " green-gold " which in translation became grin-go.
As an aside, when the Americans were in the wild west area, they did not have sanitary paper to wipe their rear ends and had to use grasses. Thats where the term grassias comes from
I hope you are joking. :confused:
 

PJT

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When the word gringo is used by an local towards me it is always in an warm and kidding manner, never insulting.

The deeper meaning of the word comes from many origins, some having to do with the US Mexican wars of the latter part of the 1840's. It was a war of many interpretations of political, social, and cutural situations, ie: the Attempt of the North to prevent the French from getting a foothold in Mexico, Protestant North Americans against the Catholic Mexicans, and just plain ol land grabbing. Many of the North Americans had green uniforms and it is alleged the Mexican pueblo (the simple people) would address the invaders in a manner saying "green go", meaning you don't belong here, go back home. It is also a time when the US Army had many Irish Catholic immigrants in the lower ranks. Some of the Irish fed up with their poor treatment by the Protestant officers broke rank and sided with the Mexicans who rewarded them. This was the one of the elements of forming the famous St. Patrick's Battalion, a group of Irish deserters fighting along side the Mexicans.

There is a wealth of history out there.

Regards,

PJT
 

Mason3000

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I've always felt it much like any other derogatory word, designed to injure but used commonly enough where the sting is long gone from the word. It's like "Honkey" to me.

If my Dominican friend answers the phone in Spanish and says "Sure I'll come to your party, but I'm hanging out with my Gringo friend Mason, can he come?" I have no problem with it.

If a guy cuts me off in traffic, leans out of his car and yells "Maldito Gringo, hijo de gran puta, vuelve a tu maldito pais!!!" then it sounds a lot more like racism (perhaps Nationalism?). Of course Dominicans call each other Negro, Gordo, Bajito, etc. and just aren't very concerned with being politically correct so no need to get upset.

In Costa Rica I once had an kid overhear me and another American talking & referring to ourselves as "Americans" who said..."You damn Gringos are so egocentric calling yourselves "Americans", you know we're "Americans" too!! You Gringos could try to be a little more sensitive you know!". I laughed and asked him if he called blacks the "n" word or homosexuals "faggots"? Then why is he calling us racial epitaphs while admonishing us for using the word "American"? It was fun watching him connect the dots :)
 

Conchman

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It may not be meant to insult, but it does have a negative connotation, as in "naive foreigner, that has just arrived in our land, that is easy to scam"
 

jrhartley

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I find it insulting.....I dont respond or turn round if someone shouts gringo, no-one ever says excuse me gringo lol, always oi
 

PJT

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Pib

Buzzzzz

I'll accept the toaster for giving my spin on the matter.

Remember "word comes from many origins", it was meant not to discredit the research you made to open a great thread, it was only to add more ingredients to the stew.

Regards,

PJT
 

jrhartley

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I like the griego explanation......maybe the mexicans just got the pronunciation wrong.....Its all greek to me , apparently Germans say its all spanish to me for anything they cant understand.....maybe also double dutch....Im rambling
 

Anastacio

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As far as I know the word gringo derives from 'The good the bad and the ugly', until 1968 or whenever it was released I doubt many foreigners even knew the word existed. Call me what you will, but I must say I have very seldom been referred to as gringo, I tend to refer to other expats as gringo when I'm pi$$ed up and partying somewhere. I get Rubio (even though I am dark haired and not light skinned) from some of my borrowed friends when they don't know how to prenounce my name properly.

Gringo is a cool word, we should all embrace it and be glad to be one, even if we are not black (which I believe is where it derives from originally). Be a cracker, be a Native, be a gringo, but just don't be offensive, it is easy to use any wordage correctly and friendly if you know how to respect others!
 

Chuck T

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As far as I know the word gringo derives from 'The good the bad and the ugly', until 1968 or whenever it was released I doubt many foreigners even knew the word existed. Call me what you will, but I must say I have very seldom been referred to as gringo, I tend to refer to other expats as gringo when I'm pi$$ed up and partying somewhere. I get Rubio (even though I am dark haired and not light skinned) from some of my borrowed friends when they don't know how to prenounce my name properly.

Gringo is a cool word, we should all embrace it and be glad to be one, even if we are not black (which I believe is where it derives from originally). Be a cracker, be a Native, be a gringo, but just don't be offensive, it is easy to use any wordage correctly and friendly if you know how to respect others!
well said, here here !
 

Chuck T

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A much simpler version. With the difference between the languages of the "Americans" and the " Mexicans " there was difficulty communicating. The mexicans used gold and silver as currency. The Americans used the " greenback " which was paper money backed up by gold. The Americans would show the paper dollars and say " green-gold " which in translation became grin-go.
As an aside, when the Americans were in the wild west area, they did not have sanitary paper to wipe their rear ends and had to use grasses. Thats where the term grassias comes from
sounds like a bit of a stretch to me my friend
 
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El Gringo

I live in a remote rural region, on the foothills north of Azua. If you come up this way, and ask anyone familiar with this region, where can I find El Gringo, they will invariably direct you to my humble abode. : )
 

Celt202

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As far as I know the word gringo derives from 'The good the bad and the ugly', until 1968 or whenever it was released I doubt many foreigners even knew the word existed...
Where Did the Word ?Gringo? Come From, Anyway? by Maggie Van Ostrand Syndicated Humor Columnist

a snippet from the article:

"The word ?gringo? was mentioned in Spanish literature as early as the 18th century. In his famous Diccionario, compiled prior to 1750, Terreros y Pando, a Spanish historian notes that ?gringo? was a nickname given to foreigners in Malaga and Madrid who spoke Spanish with an accent. Maybe it sounded like gibberish. One story says the word ?gringo? was derived from the song, ?Green Grow the Rushes, O? by Scottish poet Robert Burns, as it was sung by English sailors in Mexican seaports. This is a crock of abono, and not supported by any real evidence. Charles E. Ronan S.J., of the Department of History of Loyola University of Chicago, discredits that alleged origin in his article, ?Arizona and the West.? He gives many examples of the use of ?gringo,? but does not support any known theories of origin. An example of ?gringo?s? early use is in Bustamante?s 1841 edition of Francisco Javier Alegre?s Historia de la Compa?ia de Jesus en la Nueva Espa?a, in which he explains that the Spanish soldiers sent to Mexico in 1767 by Charles III were called ?gringos? by the Mexican people."
 
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