While a commonly used slang term for Americans used by Mexicans, gringo is used throughout Latin America to refer to Americans. It isn't inherently negative, but in some regions - especially Puerto Rico - gringo often is used to refer to white Americans, and many times in a derogatory fashion.
Those hipster gringos think they run this city now.

That guy speaks horrible spanish. You can tell he's a gringo.
by Mwatuangi July 31, 2013
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In Mexico proper, "Gringo" can have a derogatory, or casual/ non pejorative meaning depending on the context of which it is delivered. "Gabacho" has more insulting connotations. A commonly held myth within the environs of Mexico itself is that the origin of "Gringo" was an allusion as to the U.S. Army under the commands of generals Taylor/Scott fielding green coloured uniforms, hence the "Green-Go!!!" silliness. (This is utter rubbish, as any serious student of the Mexican-American War knows that it was the colour blue, and remained so till khaki, and later, onward thence to green, replaced it many decades later. A popular song commonly sung by the intrepid American troops, whilst they marched along was, "Green Grow the Rushes," these words being repeated (refrained) throughout the song, "Green grow,..etc," being taken by (the then) contemporary Mexican ear as "gringo." (The most "likely" origin...) In other regions, apart from Mexico itself, it basically refers to any "european looking" individual.
"Mira a los pinche Gringos de mierda! Como es posible se ganan cada batalla, aunque se tienen erjecitos tan pequeno!?!" "Look at those damned shit Gringos! How is it possible they win every battle, when they have armies so small!?!" (Outnumbered 2-3 to one in every major battle of the 1846-1848 war, when facing an actual standing army... Buena Vista, Chepaltepec, etc...)
by Rule Britannia! March 21, 2010
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Contrary to some things that have been posted here, the US did not wear green coats, or green uniforms, during the Mexican American War, so that explanation for the origin of this word is bogus.

But the term is indeed related to American soldiers who invaded Mexico during the Mexican-American war. It actually came from the lines of what was then a song that was very popular with American infantrymen.

See the example.
A popular American song during that time--one sung by many American troops as they marched--contained the repeated refrain:

"Oh, the ash and the oak and the willow tree,
And green grows the grass on the infantry"

Being members of the infantry, the second line was sung with particular fervor. "Green grows" sounded like "gringoes" to the non-English-speaking Mexicans, so they used that term to refer to all of the American soldiers.
by Machodoc December 08, 2010
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1. A person from the USA.

2. A tourist in Mexico with the stereotype of northern European race.

3. In Mexico, common nickname to a person with pale skin, Brown or blond hair and blue/green eyes.

PERIOD
1. I'm afraid the gringos (americans) will be fearful with us because of the swine flu.

2. Look at the gringo with the citymap, he's asking for help, maybe he's lost.

3. Hey dude you always got your skin red by playing soccer in the sun.. You're a god damn gringo.
by alanherb June 19, 2009
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Yes Gringo can be used in a derogative light, but if used properly is not derogative. Gringo means "foreigner", not white person or person from the United States. In reference for the definition please use the American Heritage Dictionary, or the dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy.
Ex: Look at that lost Gringo. Ex: Look at that lost foreigner.
by argoman July 30, 2010
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A non Hispanic person usually Anglo/white.

The word GRINGO is not from the Mexican Army calling US soldiers GREEN COATS. The US Army did not start wearing green uniforms until after 1900.
Green Coats are not American soldiers as most believe. The term Gringo was said to originate when American soldiers in Mexico would sing a song which the lyrics heard was GRINGO.
by d0c1 May 19, 2010
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