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https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis

Word usage - ethnic terms

Klgregonis
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I have a general question about the use of the word "gringo" Here in Tucson it seems to be a general term used by (mostly, from what I've seen) Anglos to distinguish themselves from the Hispanics living here. There is a restaurant called Gr!ngo, I have a book called "Spanish for Gringos" However, my ESL students tell me that in Mexico it is considered to be as offensive as the N word is here in the States, What is your experience? (I don't want to offend my students, so I've been confining its use to days when we are discussing what NOT to say. )

3 years ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Dcarl1
Dcarl1
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It's offensive even here in the states (I'm from CA). It's only mildly offensive when a non-Latino is using it about themselves, but pretty offensive otherwise. I would steer clear of it. There are other ways to get across the same concept.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jenna_swiss
jenna_swiss
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When I stayed in Costa Rica the words gringo and gringa were used pretty frequently. They were used to mean basically the same thing as "foreigner" and didn't bear any negative connotation. I don't mind referring to myself as a gringa because I'm not hispanic/latinx.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RRR-ENGLISH

I have lived many years in several countries in South America and the word "Gringo" is not offensive at all. It's just a word used among them to depict Americans. In some countries they use it even with people from the UK or Australia or any English-speaking person.
But for sure, people wouldn't use it addressing to an American who is not their friend.
As for Mexico, I'll have to find out, for that word is supossed to be invented by Mexicans during the war they held against US. Apparently Americans wore green uniforms and some graffitis stated "green go home", "green go"; but this may be just another urban legend.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FLchick
FLchick
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According to Spanish Dictionary .com: "The word gringo is a derogatory term used in Latin America to refer to white English-speakers, usually Americans, especially in the context of alleged economic, cultural and political interference in Latin America." But perhaps it is not offensive if the white, English-speaker uses the word to refer to oneself.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

Among the Mexicans I know in Minnesota, and in central Mexico, it is no big deal to refer to myself as a gringo, or say that I prefer to visit places 'sin gringos.'

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
Klgregonis
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Thanks. I grew up in the Denver area, which is where I learned my use of it. It's used pretty freely, although I didn't know too many Hispanics there. I currently live in Tucson, and it is in use among Anglos (see the restaurant name) but not Hispanics, unless they are trying to be offensive. An interesting social twist on language. And most of us non-Hispanics are unaware that the word carries a negative connotation for Hispanics.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JonathanVi472600

I am from Ecuador and I always thought that it is a bit offensive word. Now I live in Spain and here people don´t use "Gringo"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

Gringo would not mean much in Europe, to anyone. The word is rooted in Latin America.

3 years ago