Scott Sadowsky lists at SPANISHTRANSLATOR.ORG
Tue May 21 19:40:15 UTC 2002

On 5/21/2002 14:17, Grant Barrett wrote the following:

>On 5/21/02 13:03, "Joanne M. Despres" <jdespres at MERRIAM-WEBSTER.COM> wrote:
> > A Latina friend recently explained to me the difference (apart from
> > the neutral vs. pejorative tone) between "Anglo" and "gringo":  she
> > said that, within her Spanish-speaking community, "gringo" is used
> > only to refer to non-hispanic, white, English-speaking Americans,
> > whereas "Anglo" can refer to any non-hispanic, white, English-
> > speaking North American, whether United Statesian or Canadian.
> > "Gringo" therefore is equivalent to "Yankee" (or "yanqui").
>This is contrary to what I encountered in South America (Colombia, Venezuela
>and Ecuador): any non-Hispanophone white was a gringo, whether from the
>States, Germany, Britain, etc.

It depends on the linguistic community.  In Argentina, "gringo" normally
refers to Italians, but can also refer to foreigners in general.  I believe
the case of Uruguay is similar, but I'm not certain.

In Chile, "gringo" can refer to (a) someone from the US (this includes both
Blacks and Whites; depending on the context, it may exclude Latinos,
especially those who don't speak Spanish or don't speak it natively); (b)
any fair-skinned person from the US, Canada, or central-northern Europe
(the Spanish and Portuguese are never "gringos"; Italians normally aren't,
either; the French, on the other hand, are).  Here, "gringo" is almost
never pejorative -- that's what "yanqui" is for.  The only way to make it
pejorative is to use a sneering or similar tone when saying the word.

On the issue of whether Blacks are considered gringos in Chile, I remember
the case of a Black exchange student from the US who spent a year at a
local university.  He was indignant at the fact that people considered him
a gringo -- "I'm not a gringo," he would insist.  "I'm Black!"

"Well," would go the response, "you talk like a gringo. You dress like a
gringo. You think like a gringo. You act like a gringo. You even walk like
a gringo. You're as gringo as they come!"


Scott Sadowsky  --  Spanish-English / English-Spanish Translator

sadowsky at · sadowsky at
"Un idioma que estuviese obligado a ajustarse a la gramática sería
  algo así como una naturaleza que estuviese obligada a ajustarse a
  la Historia Natural".
   --  Julio Camba

More information about the Ads-l mailing list