Definitions

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

  • n. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a Mexican, especially a laborer who crosses the U.S. border illegally.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Mexican or Central American who illegally enters the United States of America from its southern border.
  • n. A person of the Mestizo race, used interchangeably with the Spanish term mojado.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A Mexican who enters the United States illegally, by wading across the Rio Grande; -- disparaging and offensive.
  • n. An offensive term for a person of Mexican descent, usually intended and considered as an ethnic slur.

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

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

Etymologies

From the fact that the Rio Grande is a common entry point.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First used in 1920s from the presumed effects of swimming or wading across the Rio Grande. Used by the U.S. Government in 1954 with Operation Wetback. (Wiktionary)

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