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

  • n. Variant of guck.
  • n. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a person of East Asian birth or descent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person from the Far East, Oceania or Southeast Asia, in particular a Vietnamese, Filipino, Chinese, Korean person.
  • n. Grime or mud.

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

  • n. any thick, viscous matter
  • n. (slang) a disparaging term for an Asian person (especially for North Vietnamese soldiers in the Vietnam War)


Perhaps alteration of earlier goo-goo, native inhabitant of the Philippines, Pacific islander.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Use traced to U.S. Marines in Philippines in early 20th century.[2] Earliest recorded example is dated 1920.[3] (Wiktionary)
Possible blend of goop and gunk. (Wiktionary)



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  • VERY stupid antecedents to this one. The Korean word for America is 'miguk' ("beautiful country"), which is what Koreans would say upon seeing US soldiers. The hur-hur interpretation was 'me gook', and therefrom the slur arose. The same phonological road as ahuacatl->avocado, with much worse results.

    May 2, 2009