Is "Gringo" ofensive?

Discussion in 'Community' started by mymemory, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. mymemory macrumors 68020

    mymemory

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    #1
    Ok, everybody in South America call the people of the US "gringos" and there are several reasons for that:

    1. The word "gringo" come from the federal war in the US, the color of the troops uniform was "green gold", so the mexicans some how came with the gringo stuff.

    2. The people from the US call themselves "Americans" something that you can do only inside the US because when the Japanese say something about the "Americans" they are saying the things about me too because I'm South American as well there are a few Central Americans. So, in place of saying the North Americans (because Mexico and Canada are at the north too) we say "the gringos":D

    Now, I never thought about that as a despective term, it is not a polite term but it is just one of those things that happen in life. Usually we call the US "gringolandia" but not very often, I like to say "the north". But just a tip, do never say you are "American" in South or Central America, it sound way too arrogant, you are a North American Citizen or a gringo:rolleyes:
     
  2. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    #2
    It's not really very offensive.

    In the USA it is usually used to mean someone who is ignorant of Hispanic culture.
     
  3. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #3
    It has never struck me as offensive in any way. :)
     
  4. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

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    #4
    i'm only partially offended.....but at the same time my friends call me jewish (cheap) and we are pretty obscene with many other slurs........
     
  5. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

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    #5

    see thats not ok...gringo is borderline, but since it doesnt imply anything specifically stereotypical beyond "ignorant american" and since it is not generally used (at least in the context my memory used and explained it in) for the purposes of singling out a group as having some sort of flaw or insulting characteristic, which in calling someone jewish/cheap is.
    this mini-rant does not cover times when people "reclaim" insulting words for newer purposes.
    --carly
     
  6. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #6
    I'm probably gonna get flamed for this but I already think of americans as "ignorant americans" in the current situations...but then again I'm one of them. ;)
     
  7. RobVanDam macrumors member

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    #7
    It doesn't bother me. Then again, being a white american male I've conditioned myself not to be bothered by anything such as that because it frankly just doesn't matter to most other people because I'm a white american male.
     
  8. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #8

    Huh!?!?!


    To me gringo isn't offensive at all, as said before more an indication of an ignorant American. Another slight slur is Norte Americano, with heavy emphasis on the Norte, which indicates that US citizens think they are the only Americans.

    It's difficult to come up with a good name for us. United Statesians sounds weird, North Americans isn't very accurate, US Americans is probably easier on the tongue but not the best choice either. It is interesting though that we group all Europeans together as well as Asians and Africans but Americans has come to mean people from the US. If there were a better word, I would use it but I don't think there is....
     
  9. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

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    #9
    alienation is powerful

    The world is well and truely screwed when we have to be governed like this. As an individual surely I can call a "fat man" a "Fat b@st4rd" if the man upsets me that much? If I do describe the person in this way, does not translate into ALL fat men are due a similar description. The sooner the world can get its head around this little detail the better.
    As an individual, call anyone any thing you like. If you really feel the need to hurt someone, alienation is a good way of intensifing the insult.
    Try not to use these methods while representing anyone except for yourself. It's a crazy world, so be prepared for crazy consequences.
     
  10. johnnowak macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Re: Is "Gringo" ofensive?

    Well in my opinion.. that's stupid. Its the United States OF AMERICA. Therefore, "American" logically refers to both the country and the continent, and for someone to see someone from the country "America" saying they are "American" as arrogant is simply short-sighted and idiotic, and totally insensitive to where THEY are from, while claiming they are being insensitive to the people from where YOU are from.

    People from AMERICA are AMERICAN. Duh.
     
  11. johnnowak macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Re: Is "Gringo" ofensive?

    Well that's clearly offensive.

    And how you can USUALLY do something NOT very often is totally beyond me.
     
  12. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #12
    Re: Re: Is "Gringo" ofensive?

    In that case shouldn't we say that we are Montanans or New Yorkers from the USA? I would think that the UNITED STATES part is the more important part of the USofA.

    People from Mexico, Chile and Cuba are also Americans.

    Mymemory seems to be able to hold his own but his native language is not English and it seems sort of uncalled for to trash his use of the language.
     
  13. johnnowak macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Yes I realize that, but to think someone from the US arrogant because they called themselves "american" is just ridiculous. That's the point I was making.

    People from Mexico are also Americans, but that is not at all the way they are often described here. Since we all live in "The Americas", we refer to them as "Mexicans".. just like we call outselves "Americans" because we live in the United States of America.

    Yes we could say were from the US... but they could also they they're from Mexico. But they don't.. they say they are Mexicans, and we say we are Americans. That's how it is commonly used throughout the world (especially by people NOT living in the americas), so for someone FROM the americas using the term "American" to mean someone from America, ESPECIALLY IF THEY LIVE THERE to be considered arrogant is INSANE.
     
  14. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #14
    Well, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but to a Mexican, Mexico means the capital city first and foremost and the proper name of the country is Estados Unidos de Mexico.

    I think that the argument here is less about the actual name of the country and the resulting name of its citizens than it is about the attitude of the people from the US in general. If the US wasn't so arrogant and overbearing in the first place, I doubt that anyone would think twice about the appropriation of American to mean only people from the US of A and not all the people on the North and South American continents.

    Whether intentionally or not the BBC and many other foreign news websites list the USA under the heading The Americas. In my mind a much more objective way of viewing the world because there are many Americas and Americans, not just those in the US of A.
     
  15. johnnowak macrumors 6502

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    #15
    You're clearly biased against the US, so how can you claim to look at this issue objectively.

    I was in new york city yesterday, and some asian women asked me if I was American.. she thought I looked English, and wanted to see if she was right.

    My point is, people from the US are commonly referred to as Americans all around the world. Did I say that's how it should be? -- NO!! -- So making the argument that it shouldn't be that way is pointless. I agree with you.

    My point is.. it should NOT be considered arrogant for what is commonly referred to as an American to call him or herself an American.

    For some reason, mymemory calling American gringolandia is no big deal.. but an American calling himself an American is a big show of arrogance.

    Absolute stupidity is the only way to describe that.
     
  16. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #16
    I find gringo somewhat offensive, but I know that the local hispanics find it much more offensive that I. We had been working with Chiquita of Chile and we were sent an internal memo about a problem with the product. The person, who seemed to have a sixth grade education referred to us as gringos, implying idiots. It didn't bother me so much since I saw his level of education as the problem. I worked with a woman in Philadelphia with similar education from Brooklyn. You don't want to know what came out of her mouth.

    As far as Japanese people using Amerika for all North and South Americans, they don't. It's slang for U.S.A, which is normally bei koku. If they want to say South America, they'll say minami amerika, or minami amerika jin for South American.
     
  17. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #17
    I'm not sure why you consider me biased?

    As I stated in an earlier post, there doesn't seem to be anyway to change the status quo. If anyone did I doubt it would be accepted and that really isn't the issue. The issue is that through a quirk or our country being named THE United States of America, we are called Americans. To blame anyone is pointless, really. That's just the way it is. The point here is, that because of American arrogance people use that quirk of history to make fun of us. It isn't highly derogatory, it's like calling a Brit a limey because British sailors ate limes to ward off scurvy.

    People don't consider us arrogant solely for our use of the word American they consider us arrogant because we are.
     
  18. Dros macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I agree that this has more to do with people from the USA considered arrogant in general. Few people from the US think, "I will call myself American because we are the supreme power in the Americas". And few Chileans and Mexicans think, "I primarily consider myself American but I cannot refer to myself as such because the name was usurped by that country in North America". People from the USA call themselves American because they are the only country with America in the name, and because USAeans or United Statesians is awkward. It does cause confusion when someone is referring to continents, but on the list of things to gripe about, it is trivial, I think.

    And gringo... it is derogatory in its current usage, but tinged with nicer emotions as well, so I think just accurately sums up feelings towards the USA.
     
  19. johnnowak macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Yeah okay. Clearly objective.
     
  20. johnnowak macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Thank you. :)
     
  21. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #21
    I've never been offended by it. Of course, the only person I've ever heard call me or anyone a gringo is my girlfriend's best friend. Of course, she calls me gringo but in the same sentence end up saying how she thinks I am hot or that I am sexy...for a gringo. It really pisses my girlfriend off, but seriously, I just never pay attention to anything her friend says since I swear she's a bit nuts.
     
  22. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #22

    1. Kyoto
    2. NAFTA
    3. Iraq
    4. Oil consumption
    5. Well, the list could be continued but I hope you see my point.


    We're not all bad, obviously, but the past 20 years we've been pretty darned arrogant. Can you disprove it?
     
  23. johnnowak macrumors 6502

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    #23
    What on earth is arrogant about our oil consumption?

    All countries have a percentage of people that look down on other countries. Look at England and Ireland.. the middle east.. its all over. To claim Americans are the only ones arrogant towards other countries is silly. ALL countries all like that more or less. No reason to single out America.
     
  24. tazo macrumors 68040

    tazo

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    #24
    as long as frijolero is not offensive, neither is gringo.

    -tazo
     
  25. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    San Francisco
    #25
    Gringo is clearly offensive. It is a term to describe ignorant and arrogant people from the US who think the rest of the Americas are their "backyard." Regardless if it fits some individuals, it is not the kind of term you would use without knowing someone well or being prepared to fight.

    The use of American by US citizens is an example of the aforementioned arrogance in the eyes of the rest of the Americans from the many other countries of our hemisphere. I still use it myself, because there is not another term that is not cumbersome and awkward. I think it is just a good idea to know to whom you are speaking when you use it. Better to be awkward than offensive.
     

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