Friday, April 17, 2009


That's me. The Gringa. Well, it's not just me. It's the name that the Chileans use to describe anyone lacking dark skin and dark hair. In some other Latin American countries it's used as a derogatory term, but here it's just a name. A foreigner.

 I really like this word and I like the story of how it came about even more. It's not a Chileanismo, (word that the Chileans invented) which is surprising since the Chileans have almost an entirely different language. They use so many slang words. Each generation comes up with hundreds that either live or die. Living means that the word is submitted to the Real Academia Espanola, the official institute of the Spanish langauge. Their job is to ordain what exactly is Castellano since each Spanish language has a different variation of naming certain things. It's the Spanish Merriam-Webster. 

Now, the word Gringa was made by the Mexicans and goes back to the American-Mexican War. Apparently, the Americans wore green for their uniform back then so that when the Spanish would spot them they would yell GREE N! GO!!!! which got smushed together to from the word Gringo or in the feminine case Gringa.

P.S. I suggest double checking this story one, because it was another kid who told me it and I have no idea how trustworthy their information about history is and two, because it was told to me  in Spanish and the chances of me missing some detail are very very strong.

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