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#198282 - 07/13/06 11:07 AM language question
Hon Offline
Another thread, which shall go unnamed to protect the innocent, got me thinking about something that happened on our last trip.

My husband and I made casual friends with two of the ladies at the grocery where we shopped daily. One evening, I'm guessing about 10 days into our visit, we saw one of the ladies downtown with another woman whom we had never met. The lady introduced us to her friend, describing my husband as 'my gringo friend from <the store where she works>'.

At the time, we thought nothing of it.

Being Canadian, I know more French than I do Spanish (Puede decirme donde esta el bano? smile ) This lady seemed so sweet to us, I hate to think that she was getting in a little racist dig at the mister. Was she?
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#198283 - 07/13/06 11:14 AM Re: language question
dogmatic prevaricator Offline
Personally, I prefer Gringo much more than "you dirty SOB"
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#198284 - 07/13/06 11:15 AM Re: language question
klcman Offline
From wikipedia:

"Gringo (feminine, gringa) is a term in the Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese languages used to refer to foreigners, especially those from the United States. Although its original meaning was perhaps derogatory, its usage today is not necessarily pejorative, even though it may be considered offensive by English-speakers. The American Heritage Dictionary does however classify the term as offensive slang [1]."

In informal Spanish speech, "gringo" offers a convenient shorthand to refer to a person from the U.S., since the term "American" is used to refer to anyone from the entire American continent (North, Central and South), while the more specific term "estadounidense" ("United States person") is somewhat cumbersome to pronounce.

"Gringo" is almost never used to refer to people from the U.S. of Asian, Native American or Latin American origin and its usage appears reserved almost exclusively to U.S. residents of white or black descent.[citation needed]

The term does lend itself to derogatory, paternalistic or endearing connotations, depending on the context and the intent of the user. In contrast, the term "yanqui" ("Yankee") is used almost exclusively in a derogatory way, to refer to any U.S. citizen, even those from the American South.

In some regions of Argentina, Paraguay and nearby areas, "Gringo" is used to refer to anyone of blonde hair and/or light skin color, regardless of their origin. It is not a pejorative term. It is also used (jokingly) as a nickname for people who are dark skinned. Another word for gringo is Polaco (Polish).
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#198285 - 07/13/06 11:23 AM Re: language question
Anonymous
When I first started dating my husband, who is Mexican, his two-year-old neice took an instant liking to me. I took her with me a lot and we were in the car once and I was teaching her the traffic signals. "Red: stop; Yellow: slow down; Green: go." A few days later I walked into the house where the family was gathered, wearing green shoes. She came running up to me yelling, "Green go shoes, green go shoes." Her parents almost passed out. "No Stephie, No Stephie, Gringo's not nice!"
I've been a gringo ever since. Personally, I love the term! smile

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#198286 - 07/13/06 11:33 AM Re: language question
dogmatic prevaricator Offline
I, El Guapo, always thought a yellow traffic light meant go real fast.
_________________________
If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

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#198287 - 07/13/06 11:47 AM Re: language question
Anonymous
Of course it does, but you can't tell that to a 2 year old - you have to save that until they're 15 or so, when they really need to know it! smile

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#198288 - 07/13/06 12:07 PM Re: language question
Hon Offline
Quote:
Originally posted by klcman:
From wikipedia:

"<snip> Although its original meaning was perhaps derogatory, its usage today is not necessarily pejorative, even though it may be considered offensive by English-speakers. The American Heritage Dictionary does however classify the term as offensive slang [1]."

<snip>The term does lend itself to derogatory, paternalistic or endearing connotations, depending on the context and the intent of the user. In contrast, the term "yanqui" ("Yankee") is used almost exclusively in a derogatory way, to refer to any U.S. citizen, even those from the American South.

In some regions of Argentina, Paraguay and nearby areas, "Gringo" is used to refer to anyone of blonde hair and/or light skin color, regardless of their origin. It is not a pejorative term. It is also used (jokingly) as a nickname for people who are dark skinned. Another word for gringo is Polaco (Polish).
Given the possibilities, I'm going to go with 'endearing' seeing as the mister is a sweetheart.
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Newfoundlanders are the only people in heaven who want to go home.

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#198289 - 07/13/06 12:13 PM Re: language question
Denny Shane Offline
Having been practically all over the world I have been called a lot of things. But it's been by nice people and I have never taken offense.

Only once in all those years did someone say something not nice about my nationality. To this day I do not think he can smile properly. eek
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#198290 - 07/13/06 12:45 PM Re: language question
Sun&sand Offline
I would think the tone in which it is said would give the indication of whether it is meant to be offensive or not.
Here in the south, we can say what ever we want about someone, however bad, and if we follow it up with "Bless her heart" it's OK. LOl....not that I ever do it, but I know many who do!
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#198291 - 07/13/06 12:54 PM Re: language question
Otteralum Offline
S&S -- LMAO. My native North Carolinian grandmother passed away at age 96 3-years ago and that was her M.O. to a tee.

She would use the worst bigoted words and phrases but follow with "bless their hearts," or "she was the cutest little (bleep) girl."

Somehow that made it all right!?!
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