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Thread: Gringo. ¿Que signífica?

 
  1. #21
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    Hola chapinrico:

    You have raised a question that I have asked others for years! , i.e., So why do people from the states think they are the only ones who are Americans?

    Personally I do not like the term Americano for that very reason but I do not think that we in the U.S. applied that name to ourselves. I think it is what others called us from the beginning and we adopted the name and now it is too widespread to change it. Perhaps it evolved from the fact that officially we are named The United States of America, but you are absolutely right, every citizen of North, Central and South America is tecnically an American. The trouble is that nobody is going to understand when an Ecuadorian identifies himself as American. It would simply lead to confusion and eventually he would have to say he was from Ecuador anyway.

    In my early years on the Mexican border I met many people who called themselves Mexican even though they were born in the U.S. I would say "then you're an American, no?" and they would say "yes, but I'm Mexican". The term American did not appeal to them either. Mexican-American maybe, but not just American.

    What else can we call ourselves that would not be too cumbersome? As for "United Statians", I like estaunidence! But what then if Mexico objects? They have the right to that name as well since Mexico is actually the United States of Mexico.

    Some call us norte americanos but that isn't entirely accurate either because Canada and Mexico and even parts of Central America are in North America (depending on which map you prefer).

    I used to say I was a gringo and assumed everybody would know that I was from the USA. Now after learning that it means different things in different countries I will have to change. In a formal introduction I have always said I'm from the United States or soy de los estados unidos. I guess I'll have to stay with that.

    Saludos!



    Quote Originally Posted by chapinrico
    In Guatemala, a Gringo is anyone who is white from North America or Europe. It's not ment to be offensive only a name that is given to white people. Some people who are white in Guate are called gringo looking!

    One thing thats always bothered me. The name American, I'm American and no I wasn't born in the US. But I was born in the American continent. What do you call a person born in Europe...a European. So why do people from the states think they are the only ones who are Americans?
    If anything the correct name would be united statetian or something similar. In Guatemala we don't say Americano...we say estaunidence!....just thought of and wanted to add to my comment....later...
    Last edited by vicente; 06-26-2008 at 04:55 PM.
    vicente

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    Senior Member mem286's Avatar
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    Interesting thread!!! In Argentina we say "Estadounidense". And the term "gringo" is not offensive at all... neither is "yankee". It depends on what you say and the tone of your voice, but it's quite usual to hear expressions like "Mi prima está saliendo con un yankee que conoció de vacaciones en Mexico", and that's not offenssive...

  3. #23
    Senior Member Dragona's Avatar
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    Personally I also agree with the other member(s) about the tone of voice and attitude it's said in.
    I've always heard the word gringo when someone is referring to a white peraon, usually that white person is North American (here we go with political correctness, goodness!!). I've also never heard it in a wrong tone or nasty attitude when talking about a "cool" gringo/a. But I have heard it in a harsh tone and nasty attitude when talking about a person who is not to the person's liking for whatever reason.
    It's all in the tone of voice and attitude.
    I've had my brother jokingly role his eyes and taunt me calling me a "white girl", now I know he's joking so I just shoot back "look who'a talking white boy!".
    It's all friendly and funny.
    I did have a friend who called me that, who also rolled her eyes but with her I knew she wasn't saying it to be funny. She wanted to be mean, knowing full well that I would defend myself. But then again she is from West Indian/Caribbean descendants so her skin is really dark and she had/has issues with whites and the police.
    Alrighty, those are my two cents, I know, not worth much

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    Question Wow!

    Dragona
    Personally I also agree with the other member(s) about the tone of voice and attitude it's said in.
    I've always heard the word gringo when someone is referring to a white peraon, usually that white person is North American (here we go with political correctness, goodness!!). I've also never heard it in a wrong tone or nasty attitude when talking about a "cool" gringo/a. But I have heard it in a harsh tone and nasty attitude when talking about a person who is not to the person's liking for whatever reason.
    It's all in the tone of voice and attitude.
    I've had my brother jokingly role his eyes and taunt me calling me a "white girl", now I know he's joking so I just shoot back "look who'a talking white boy!".
    It's all friendly and funny.
    I did have a friend who called me that, who also rolled her eyes but with her I knew she wasn't saying it to be funny. She wanted to be mean, knowing full well that I would defend myself. But then again she is from West Indian/Caribbean descendants so her skin is really dark and she had/has issues with whites and the police.
    Alrighty, those are my two cents, I know, not worth much


    What could you possibly mean by this? I am so confused. Are you saying she wanted to be mean because she is dark-skinned and therefore inferior to you and the police (also an authority figure in her eyes). This is what Thomas is talking about. Whenever we correlate someones character to their race or appeareance, we only demonstrate our own prejudices and complexes. It is never o.k. to reduce people to the traits or characteristics that WE deem important. My dear, THAT WOULD leave the whole world blind or at least hurt a lot of feelings.

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    Senior Member exxcéntrica's Avatar
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    I agree with Morna, very strange post, Dragona.

    What has her being black got anything to do with calling you gringo?
    And why the reference to the police? Hasn't got anything do with it, has it? Or only people , black and with issues with the police, call others gringo ?

    Strange attitude.

    In Spain, getting back to the point. We call people from the States: americanos. Yes, I know, not the most correct term, but that's the one we use.

    We have different names for foreigners:
    guiri, chan, yanky (yankee)
    Los hombres son superiores a las mujeres porque Alá les otorgó la primacia sobre ellas. Portanto, dió a los varones el doble de lo que dió a las mujeres. Los maridos que sufrieran desobediencia de sus mujeres pueden castigarlas: abandonarlas en sus lechos, e incluso golpearlas.
    No se legó al hombre mayor calamidad que la mujer."


    El Corán (libro sagrado de los musulmanes, recitado por Alá a Maomé en el siglo VI)


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    I, for one, want to say that I do think I understand what Dragona is saying in her post regarding race relations in the US. It might be difficult for someone who has not spent a significant amount of time in the country to appreciate it from the way Dragona laid it out, but any person with a darker skin tone will notoriously be treated in a different manner by the police and about any authority figure, i.e. the cops have the reputation of treating any non-white person as a criminal, regardless of the situation--the Rodney King and OJ Simpson incidents carried so much weight in the country precisely for this reason. This has logically produced a strong amount of distrust from many people with darker complexion, depending on their personal experiences or those of their friends and family. In the context of her post (regarding the treatment of white people by Spanish speakers), the reference to the police makes sense...though it could have been explained a little more.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Dragona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by La Morena
    What could you possibly mean by this? I am so confused. Are you saying she wanted to be mean ***yes***because she is dark-skinned ****her skin color never mattered to me, but it did to her****and therefore inferior to you ****and what could you possibly mean by this???*** and the police (also an authority figure in her eyes). This is what Thomas is talking about. Whenever we correlate someones character to their race or appeareance, we only demonstrate our own prejudices and complexes. It is never o.k. to reduce people to the traits or characteristics that WE deem important. My dear***please do not pratonize me***, THAT WOULD leave the whole world blind or at least hurt a lot of feelings ****who is correlating and reducing people to traits that they deem important now?***.
    Wow! I never thought I'd get flamed!!!! Geez, relax people, please.
    I'm just defending myself. It's my friend who has issues, I'm just reiterating her issues.

    I have nothing againt anyone. We are all different, if we were are the same we would be very boring.
    She was my BEST FRIEND, I loved her to death and I never saw her as inferior to me or anyone, but she always had issues when it came to skin color. Maybe it was the area she lived in, where she grew up, or a combination of both.
    Regardless, I meant nothing it. I was just using her as an example of the tone of voice people use to say things, and the thread is about the word gringo (which by all means is white person- or so i thought...read below). Hense her calling me white girl when she was annoyed at me for the silliest thing and the tone of voice she used. She never called me a "white girl" in a silly sense, or jokingly.
    The entire message was only meant to be used as an example for the tone of voice she used. Not to flame her or make me sound mean. Not at all.
    Like Scott said, maybe I could have explained it more, I was not being politically correct or something. Someone (in this case me) is always going to say/write something that is going to offend someone else, even if the writer meant no offense (like me in this case).
    If I offended someone, I am sorry. Forgive me for using a wrong example, hopefull next time I'll try to use another example that will not cause another equally intensive flame job (I do love my head, helps me to stay alive, please don't bite it off) .

    PS By the way, my friend says that her "black husband gets called gringo all the time" (all her words, hence the quotation mark- I am on the phone with her as I write this). And I'm not trying to start anything, just letting folks know that gringo isn't used just for white folks as we all thought. I just got schooled myself by my friend. Apparently gringo is not used only for white people, her family calls everyone born in the US a gringo. She gets called a gringa all the time just because she was born here. And she asked me to write that she "doesn't take it offensively".
    Last edited by Dragona; 08-07-2008 at 02:46 PM.

  8. #28
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    For what it is worth to you Dragona...I knew exactly what you were trying to say and I was surprised that somebody would take offense.

    Saludos
    vicente

  9. #29
    Senior Member Dragona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicente
    For what it is worth to you Dragona...I knew exactly what you were trying to say and I was surprised that somebody would take offense.

    Saludos
    Thank You Vicente. Thank You Scott.
    I appeciate your support.
    And Vicente, it is worth a lot to me. To have someone (other than the friend who I was on the phone with when I was typing the previous message) in the forum to know what I was talking about.
    Thanks again!

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    Default Re: Gringo. ¿Que signífica?

    I am a white American Citizen who is 50% cuban and 50% german. That being said, because all of the cubans in my family can trace ancestory to Spain, GRINGO has always meant

    SOMEONE WHO ACTS WHITE.
    Main word being ACTS!!!!!!


    Anyone can act white. (ie faking a gringo accent when speaking spanish though you speak fluently and spanish was your firstlanguage.)

    Anyone can act gringo.... and therefore be gringo

    it is something that can be overcome.

    Another example is that I hate rice. I am a cuban who loathes rice and never eats rice. But I am not gringo because it isn't that I only eat tasteless white rice, it is that I don't eat rice at all.

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