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November 22, 2013


Tim Vickery

I've got a tip of my own - stop using the word 'gringo' - it's not big and it's not clever. How on earth can you urge people to avoid stereotypes and ride this horse?

Receiving the world in 2014 and 16 is a great opportunity to expel this fascist, infantile and ignorant word from the language.

adam vasco

I have a tip for you Tim: - Try adding to the conversation. Obrigado. Adam - a gringo in Rio.


Tim is not all wrong.
Its true that in Brazil the word "gringo" doesn't have the same meaning as in Mexico, for example, where "gringo" could be an agressive response to "latino" or "chicano" negative connotation classification created by "White" Americans. The word "gringo" is a Castilian word, not a Portuguese one, and Brazilians like to say it because thats the way Brazilians with less education can describe a non-Brazilian in an easier way, since they ignore the difference, they only can tell that the person is not Brazilian, just like every Asian in Brazil is called "Japa" or "Japonês"(Japanese) by the lower Brazilian classes. The more educated Brazilian, mostly "whiter", usually know if someone is German or Italian or Japanese or Chinese, but they propositally immitate the less educated because its charming, funny and colloquial(its the street language, the cool slang talk, it makes you fit ). It doesn't have a negative connotation because Brazilians are not a homogenic ethnic, they are German, Indians, Japanese, African, Portuguese etc. descendants(or a mix of everyone or some).
And in real life a "gringo" is supposed to mix into the Brazilian melting pot, unlike the Brazilian in the US being called "latino" and where ethnic classifications are used to separate the society in different groups.

In Brazil the word "alemão" (German), "russo"(Russian) are widely used to describe whites, blondes or reds even if they are Brazilians. "Turco"(Turkish) is widely used to describe any Brazilian with arabic blood.

So Tim is kind of right when he says its infantile and ignorant because when Brazilians call a foreign "gringo" they actually want to sound infantile and ignorant because its funny to play infantile and ignorant sometimes, to break the ice.

If Tim is criticizing the importance of being called "gringo" by some foreigners who are desperated to stand out, then I agree with him, some foreigners can't let the inicial pleasure to be recognized as the "non-ordinary one", they become obsessed to be the "gringo" all the time and make any reasonable Brazilian want to tell their court to "stop feeding the gringo ego" because the stereotypes are blowing up.

p.s.: "facist" is a little bit too much, most Brazilians don't know what that means, but they can recognise a gringo from a mile away, they just ignore the difference ...

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