Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who greases, such as a worker who greases working parts in a machine.
  • n. Slang A tough young man, especially one from a white working-class background who is much involved with motorcycles or cars.
  • n. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a Latin American, especially a Mexican.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Someone or something that greases (applies grease).
  • n. A mechanic.
  • n. A biker, a tough.
  • n. A Latin American, especially a Mexican.
  • n. An Italian.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who, or that which, greases; specifically, a person employed to lubricate the working parts of machinery, engines, carriages, etc.
  • n. A nickname sometimes applied in contempt to a Mexican or other Latin-American of the lowest type; -- derogatory and offensive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who or that which greases, as the person who oils or lubricates machinery, engines, etc.
  • n. A native Mexican or native Spanish American: originally applied contemptuously by Americans in the south western United States to the Mexicans.
  • n. The ruddy duck, Erismatura rubida.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (ethnic slur) offensive term for a person of Mexican descent

Etymologies

grease +‎ -er. Applied to mechanics because they frequently become greasy during the course of their work. Applied to toughs because they frequently greased their hair; applied, like "greaseball", to Italians for the same reason. Applied to Mexicans because, at the time the phrase originated, they commonly worked greasing the axles of carts. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A few years later, when I was at a dance at a local YMCA and some guys started hassling me, one of the former committee members, a so-called greaser, intervened, telling the others to leave me alone because I was “okay.”

    Living History

  • I told him to bluff and threaten; Cardigan, I knew, would realize the grudge the Black Minorca has against him, and for that reason I figured the greaser was the only man who could bluff him.

    The Valley of the Giants

  • 'The Denim Gang' in Sportswear International #227 is an editorial shot by Ryan Kelly and styled by John Tan that recalls the greaser culture of the 1950s.

    TREND HUNTER - The Latest Trends

  • With his early "greaser" style, Elvis fit the bill, and Phillips recorded him on his now-iconic Sun label.

    John W. Whitehead: Elvis Presley: Down Lonely Street at the Heartbreak Hotel

  • I don't feel the need to only associate with other 'greaser', 'psycho', or 'punk rock' types, and there's a reason for that.

    hamletwildie Diary Entry

  • For that reason a number of their "greaser" assistants were taken to the car before noon and the hydrogen cask was loaded on the small wagon and carefully freighted to the corral.

    The Air Ship Boys : Or, the Quest of the Aztec Treasure

  • Every little "greaser" on the ranch adored the Señorita, and she was godmother to half the babies born on the place.

    Blue Bonnet's Ranch Party

  • Marcus would have killed him; had thrown his knife at him in the true, uncanny "greaser" style.

    McTeague

  • Chinese, "greaser," and half-breed population in the West, our Black

    Courts and Criminals

  • The population was of a heterogeneous type and varied character, running through all gradations, from the lowly 'greaser' to the refined and cultivated gentleman, with the intermediate interstices filled in with a motley crew of professional horse thieves, swaggering ruffians, and riff-raff generally, whose constant study seemed to be to bully their betters, as far as a discreet regard for their own precious carcasses would permit them to go; a class sui generis.

    Recollections and reflections : an auto of half a century and more,

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Comments

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  • Thanks, WeirdNet.

    March 28, 2008

  • "No one need be afraid of the Rolling Stones any more. They couldn't change a thing. They didn't want to change a thing. They arrived at the head of the pop wave, expressing the vague discontent of their generation. They were rewarded with money and initiated into the fancy vices of the upper class: drugs, buggery, cruelty and vicarious violence. Home videos of the Aberfan disaster with 'Yes sir, that's my baby' for a backing. Loving, gentle, co-operative, my arse. Still, it was genuine. The greasers, the rockers, the mods, the skinheads, the hippies, the yippies, all of your genuine working-class youth would have been corrupted in the same way. Only the bourgeois revolutionary can spurn the insidious rewards this society offers to successful subversion. Only the middle-class rebel yearns for the proletariat."
    - 'Mozic And The Revolution', Germaine Greer in Oz, 1969.

    March 27, 2008