We're all gringos

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zoomzx11

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Lots of expats and tourists here think they are not gringos because they are not Americans. Not so, in the eyes of most Dominicans. You look white, you are a gringo to Dominicans. They use the term for all, not just Americans. I think that the name was originally applied to US troops in Mexico who wore green uniforms and who's presence was not appreciated by the Mexican people who yelled - "green gos home", ie, back to the US. I dont think the term is especially pejorative althought most Dominicans will smile when you ask them if you are a gringo. From my experience it may be a very very mild insult but most Dominicans recognize the importance to the Dom economy of the gringo greenbacks even if they are euros, pounds or even francs.
In general I have felt welcomed in the DR. Maybe a couple of times it might have been a tiny bit insincere like "hello my fren" or even "hello beautiful guy". All in all I think they like us gringos
 

Como_un_cameron

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Every white man or woman is a gringo here.!
Get used to it.
If they start calling you an Americano...you might be insulted when you're not.
However it's just informal talking here, when people here call by your skin color.
White = GRINGO
Black= HAITIANO or NEGRO.
Brown= MORENO
Latina=BLANCO prinsesa

You can substituted the O's for A's

And please don't think they learned at school about GRINGOS.
 

Givadogahome

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I'm not convinced on the origin of where you say the word came from, but I don't think it is offensive at all, merely a descriptive casual word to define a foreigner in many countries. I generally consider Gringos tolerated and never presume to be liked or wanted in a country where in general we do much better for ourselves and in general people do not consider or understand where we come from and just how difficult and or hard a slog some of us have had. For the most part the less educated think we get free money, lifestyles and are all living some dream. Tolerated is as stronger word as I could use, at a push, but yes people are generally nice and friendly, a lot more than we would be should the situation be reversed.
 

belgiank

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our cleaning lady uses the word gringo to describe us sometimes, and it is not meant pejorative at all. Just a way to describe us white foreigners.

I have heard her use some much more insulting terms to describe a particular kind of expat... (the ones who look down upon the locals...)

BelgianK
 

Como_un_cameron

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our cleaning lady uses the word gringo to describe us sometimes, and it is not meant pejorative at all. Just a way to describe us white foreigners.

I have heard her use some much more insulting terms to describe a particular kind of expat... (the ones who look down upon the locals...)

BelgianK

If it ain't "maricon" please enlighten me.
 

bob saunders

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No, you can be white and Dominican, and you are never mistaken by Dominicans as not being Dominican. Plenty of white Dominicans in Jarabacoa; and I mean white as in having little or no black bloodlines. I have been called Americano - doesn't bother this Canuck at all, same as Gringo. You can actually tell when someone means it as an insult.
White is Blanco, not Gringo.
 

Chirimoya

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No, you can be white and Dominican, and you are never mistaken by Dominicans as not being Dominican.
My husband gets mistaken for a gringo all the time. "?Dominicano? ?C?mo puede ser?" He tries to preempt it with tigueraje, but even so sometimes they still speak to him in very slow Spanish accompanied with sign language and sh!t like "Hello my freng", especially in tourist areas.
 

Chip

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Here is a link that states the use of gringo since the 1700's and it didn't start off to mean Americans. BTW, American soldiers didn't start wearing green uniforms until well after WWII:

Gringo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the DR "gringo" is not pejorative and if you think it is you don't understand the language.
 

Givadogahome

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If it ain't "maricon" please enlighten me.

Why would it be Maricon, that is a sexually orientated term used loosely as often as it is specifically directed at someone.

The harshest insults or signs of disapproval by Dominicans are easily understood by face tone. As you will know even the use of the nose and lips in communication between Dominicans can often make actual conversation redundant.

I know me and the Mrs can communicate perfectly well when we have company or are in company without the need to speak and from opposite sides or the room. Which I expect originated from them having to communicate over the extra loud music that is played in venues most of us might go to socialize, like bars and Colmados, in DR it is impossible because of the music and so we have the evolution of 'twitch speak'.

That's my conclusion anyway!
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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No, you can be white and Dominican, and you are never mistaken by Dominicans as not being Dominican. Plenty of white Dominicans in Jarabacoa; and I mean white as in having little or no black bloodlines. I have been called Americano - doesn't bother this Canuck at all, same as Gringo. You can actually tell when someone means it as an insult.
White is Blanco, not Gringo.

Almost no Dominican thinks my wife is Dominican. That mistake was made today at the bank. She is from Jarabacoa.

You can call me anything you want as long as you don't call me late for dinner.
 

cobraboy

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Jul 24, 2004
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You can call me anything you want as long as you don't call me late for dinner.
Ditto.

I control whether or not I get insulted.

Sticks and stones and all that...

Besides, in their eyes I AM a gringo. So what?
 

zoomzx11

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Jan 21, 2006
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Gringo can be used in a pejorative fashion. How about "stinking gringo"? (literallly true for some tourists). Wikipedia aint s.....t as a definitive source. Maybe for you it is. And lastly many slang words have more than one origin and may originate from more than one source. You telling me the Mexican people did not call the invading American troops -greengo- ? Maybe you were there ?
As far as Dominicans liking gringos. I think they do. I have always felt welcomed here and liked but maybe I am more likable than some. (personal opinion).
 

Chip

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Gringo can be used in a pejorative fashion. How about "stinking gringo"?

Wrong. Stinking is an adjective - which is a poor example because they would normally say "ese gringo hiede".

I would say if one can't carry on a decent conversation in Spanish here I would say there is no way to understand how gringo is used. Also, there is a Dominican singer here who calls himself "El Gringo de la bachata".
 

Givadogahome

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I've lived here 3 years and never heard the word once.

Really? I must admit I get extranjero mainly in more formal talk or around those talking about me as if I'm invisible or not sure if I understand Spanish, don't know me, but Gringo is something I heard a lot around touristy areas. I even use it to welcome people, even Dominicans I haven't seen in a long time as in a 'hey stranger' type manner. Not a significant word and like JR said, if I am offended then it is offensive, but I can never imagine anyone insulting another with the use of the word Gringo. But in 7 years I've rarely been insulted unless I deserved it, and I'll hold my hands up to on occasion deserving it for over reacting to young men making comments or psst at my Mrs as we would walk by, it took me a while to adjust to that and I really never have and have had a couple of insignificant dust ups because of my lack of will to accept that as not being an insult. Where I come from if you Psssst or comment on a guys girl when you are obviously together, that deserves a slap, I guess that is one of the things I will never accept and can't change about me, I don't even think I want to, I think that is something they should learn is disrespectful so..........................
But as for Gringo and it's real meaning and origin? I'm sure every country has it's own interpretation and use for the word even though it is the same. There are several words that mean almost complete opposites in Spanish, Guapo/Guapa being one that springs to mind, more or less the opposite in sorts from in Spain (good looking/pretty) to what it means in DR (****ed off/annoyed). It's a bit of a minefield learning these differences the hard way if you are used to speaking Spanish then switch over to Dominicish.
 

AlterEgo

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My husband gets mistaken for a gringo all the time. "?Dominicano? ?C?mo puede ser?" He tries to preempt it with tigueraje, but even so sometimes they still speak to him in very slow Spanish accompanied with sign language and sh!t like "Hello my freng", especially in tourist areas.

We spent a couple of days at Whirleybird's house a few weeks ago, and my husband spent several hours around the property with her caretaker. After some time, the caretaker wanted to know 'how you learned to speak Spanish just like us'. He said he WAS one of "us", born in SD.
 
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