Wednesday, December 12, 2007
[This is a clarification entry] Contrary to a widespread belief, gringo (green-gaw) is not a derogatory term. It is the shortest way to refer to a person from the U.S. who doesn't look Mexican (Mexican looking Americans are called pocho, chicano, paisa, etc.) The only formal alternative is the word estadounidense, whose length makes evident the benefit of sticking to gringo. Other less formal options are gabacho (seemingly imported from Spain) and some variations like gabardo. Most Mexicans cannot tell if a blond, overfed, weed-abusing, non-Spanish speaking tourist who smells like cheap tequila and is spending the Spring break in Cancun is from the U.S. or from any other country. Therefore rather often gringo-ness is assumed. American or not, don't take offense if you're called gringo or gringa.
Posted by Pablo at 9:03 PM