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Gringo is a word used mostly by spanish speakers to define an anglo-saxon person, depending the connotation it can be offensive, neutral or even friendly. Also the meaning can change depending on the people that uses it.

For example in Mexico and central America is mostly used in an insultive way.
In Argentina due that most people has italian and spanian roots (white and brown hair) it's merely to describe someone that's anglo-saxon or very white and blonde, due to many "Gringos" that went to live to Argentina.
-No lo viste al gringo?
-Haven't you seen gringo?

-Ey gringo pasame la pelota!
-Hey gringo pass me the ball!

-Ese es un gringo de mierda
-That one is a fucking gringo
by Santi Ullio August 23, 2008
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The word originated in Mexico, when the United States of America invaded Mexico in order to appropiate half of its territory, back on mid 19th century. Of course this action against "peace and freedom" is not in elementary school textbooks in USA, but it is in any other serious document about USA history.

American soldiers entered the country through the Gulf of Mexico, taking down the main port of Veracruz and then heading towards Mexico City. The troops were wearing GREEN COATS.

Mexican people along the way from Veracruz to Mexico suffered the advance of the enemy and many battles were fought. However, the American army finally reached Mexico City and took the city down in an epic battle still remembered by all the Mexicans: The battle of Chapultepec Castle. This palace, in the top of a hill, is the highest point over Mexico City: there was the Mexican flag, so it was a symbolic target.

The headquarters of the Military College were in Chapultepec castle too, and when the "green coats" were climbing the hill, a few young cadets refused to leave and decided to defend the castle to death. Then, when the battle was helplessly lost, one of the cadets took the Mexican flag, wrapped himself on it and jumped off the cliff were the castle is set, dying in the rocks below, thus avoiding the American army to take the flag. When the American commander saw the corpses of the cadets, he said in amazement "They are only children!". So they became in death Los Niñosroes, the symbol in Mexico of the resistance against invaders: the American army... the green coats.

The war was over and USA claimed half of Mexico's territory... then the green coats went home, having gained possesion of Texas and other territories -and their resources- (the same old motif than nowadys, but the speech has changed).

Ever since, the relationtship USA-Mexico has developed into a very complex love-hate relationtship and the destiny of both nations is linked together, but back then, a new term was born in popular language: gringo (green coat)

Now, let's make clear that the term is used nowadays the same as affectionate as pejorative and as none of the above too. As complex as it seems, Mexican people can use the word with different intentions but in any case with just one meaning: it refers in a common way to USA citizens, who are distinctive not because of the colour of their skin, but because of their culture and behavior (anyone outside USA knows exactly what behavior is it!)

Other derivatives of the word include:

gringa: female for gringo, as substantive.

gringo/gringa: as adjectives.

agringado: something/someone that resembles USA culture or the American way of life.

Gringolandia: U.S.A.

As a final note i must say that the word spread to other countries over Latin America (even to Spain) where it is used to refer to foreigners and/or white people: but that's just the way some people outside Mexico understand the word!

Nevertheless, in Mexico, a "gringo" is just an American citizen. And it implies nothing else.
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Gringo loco!
Crazy American!

Las películas gringas tienen los mejores efectos especiales.
American films have the best special effects.

Las gringas son facilotas.
American girls (springbreakers) are promiscuous.

Esa casa es de estilo agringado.
That house has an American-like style (meaning it is a new rich tasteless house)

Los gringos creen que son los policías del mundo.
Americans think they are the police of the world.

En Gringolandia pasan todas las desgracias: meteoritos, tormentas y ¡hasta Godzilla!
In U.S.A. happens all kind of disfortune: meteores, storms and even Godzilla!
by A.Gabriela October 06, 2006
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A word used by Latin americans and some Europeans refering to a person from the USA, IT DOES NOT MEAN "WHITE PEOPLE" as some people think. Most of the times it is said in an offensive way.
"Odio a los putos gringos, se creen los dueños de todo."

"I hate bloody Gringos, they think they own it all."
by Pedro Antonio Ascencio September 24, 2006
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(derives from spanish griego, greek)
Derogatory term for people from the United States.
In Chile it refers to someone from the capital city, very similar to the mexican word chilango.
Originally it aplied to any foreigner, as time passes it came to be a cruel synonym of yankee.
Many people think that the word began during the Mexican revolition referring to the green uniform of the U. S. Marines, and mexicans yelled: "Green, go", but that is not the case, the word appeared much earlier in eighteenth century latin american and spanish literature.
Its use is not exclusive to Mexicans, Now it is widely used by latin americans in general and even by europeans.
Contemporary U. S. politics have brought this word to greater relevance, as the anti-gringo feeling has spread throughout the world.
Fui al centro y puro pinche gringo por todos lados.
(I went downtown and found lots of bloody gringos there)
by thekingofhell July 26, 2004
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A white person.

You call us Mexicans we call you Gringos
simple as that.
Mira a esse gringo limpiandoze el culo.

Hahahaha.
by Aztek May 24, 2005
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12
Term used by Latin Americans to talk about people born in USA and somtimes in others anglo-saxon countries. Doesnt mean white man.
hey mira !! toma esa arma y vamos a patearle el sucio culo a esos gringos hijos de perra.
by Censurado August 04, 2005
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13
Term used to refer to a foreigner in a latin-american country. Can be derogatory or not, it usually is derogatory when an article is used before it (Este Gringo.) Believed to have originated from the chant "Green, Go" shouted at US soldiers during the Mexican-American war, It actually originates from the Spanish 'Griego' meaning greek. In spanish, the phrase "Hablar en Griego" or 'to speak in greek' means the same as the english "It's all greek to me." The word Gringo is an evolution of griego, which was used to describe any foreigner that had an accent that prevented them from speaking spanish; particularly the Irish.
"The Gringos are coming!"
by Pablo the Gringo May 28, 2006
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