Definitions

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

  • n. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a foreigner in Latin America, especially an American or English person.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Caucasian foreigner.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Among Spanish Americans, a foreigner, especially an American or sometimes an Englishman; -- often used disparagingly or as a term of reproach.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Among Spanish Americans, an Englishman or an Anglo-American: a term of contempt.

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

  • n. a Latin American (disparaging) term for foreigners (especially Americans and Englishmen)

Etymologies

Spanish, foreign, foreign language, gibberish, probably alteration of griego, Greek, from Latin Graecus; see Greek.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish gringo, from griego ("Greek"), used for anyone who spoke an unintelligible language. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • BLANC “White,” but more precisely “foreigner,” and like the term gringo in parts of Latin America, not necessarily pejorative.

    The Serpent and the Rainbow

  • The word gringo is often said to have originated with invading American soldiers who sang the lyrics from “Green Grow the Rushes, O” in marching cadence, which the Mexicans are supposed to have adapted phonetically.

    Gringos in Paradise

  • Lets be serious here, as a person who's studied in Puerto Rico I can tell you that the only thing Puerto Rican's despise more than a gringo is a black person.

    Schneider: How did Clinton win big?

  • Yes the inclusion of the word 'gringo' conjures up certain…

    The Guardian World News

  • While El Real maybe a miss as a restaurant, it is sad that a poster has to use the derogatory term "gringo" when refering to white people.

    chron.com Chronicle

  • It might be mistaken identity, as the poster above me said, but among all my Mexican friends, from either here in Ajijic or from Guadalajara, a "gringo" is a person from the U.S.

    No Problem With "Gringo"

  • The fact that the common use of "gringo" in Zacatecas and the view among Chiapanecos that the word "gringo" is an inexcusable affront to people who might be so identified is evidence that we should all be careful indeed about using using words with which we are only marginally familiar when describing others from other cultural backgrounds.

    Page 2

  • There's nothing academic about it, "gringo" is used all over the Spanish speaking world to mean a foreign-language speaker.

    I saw a Gringo begging today

  • I heard the word gringo come up a few times with a few chuckles, but I rolled with the punches.

    TravelPod.com TravelStream? ? Recent Entries at TravelPod.com

  • The other definition, regarding its reference to foreigners, makes more sense, as any non-latino is often called gringo here in Peru regardless of what country they come from.

    Living in Peru : News

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