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#3204 - 06/02/00 05:52 AM American terms
Rubrick Offline
addict

Registered: 05/18/00
Posts: 679
Loc: Somewhere outside New York
Hi y'all,

I've been interested in a number of American terms but I am dissatisfied with their given definitions. There seem to be so many different variations. Can anyone offer me some better explanations of how they emanated??

Two in particular:

Main Entry: grin·go
Pronunciation: 'gri[ng]-(")gO
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural gringos
Etymology: Spanish, alteration of griego Greek, stranger, from Latin
Graecus Greek
Date: 1849
often disparaging : a foreigner in Spain or Latin America especially
when of English or American origin; broadly : a non-Hispanic person

This is interesting because I have heard the legend that the cowboys of texas sang a song called 'green grows the grass of .........' and the mexicans picked it up as 'gringos'. The definition above sounds more plausible but I am in two minds as to which version to accept.


Main Entry: Dix·ie
Pronunciation: 'dik-sE
Function: noun
Etymology: name for the Southern states in the song Dixie (1859) by
Daniel D. Emmett
Date: 1859
: the Southern states of the U.S.

Okay. I know the song and it makes sense that it was adopted by the Southerners particularly at that volatile time in US history. But where did the word 'Dixie' come from???? My educated guess would be that it has something to do with the Mason-Dixon line. Am I right?? Does anyone truly know?

I look forward to your comments......

Rubrick


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#3205 - 06/02/00 07:54 AM Re: American terms
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
Brick,

Well.... y'all are barkin up mah tree. I've heard the "Green grow the rushes, oh" explanation, too, but although that is a marvelous [sic] counting song, I think it's apocryphal in explaining the word "gringo." I'll go with your etymological research.

As for Dixie, yep, you got it. Mason-Dixon line. No doubt there.


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#3206 - 06/02/00 08:09 AM Re: American terms
Rubrick Offline
addict

Registered: 05/18/00
Posts: 679
Loc: Somewhere outside New York
> As for Dixie, yep, you got it. Mason-Dixon line. No doubt there.

Shouldn't that make the Northerners 'masonet(te)s'?


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#3207 - 06/02/00 08:30 AM Re: American terms
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
>>Shouldn't that make the Northerners 'masonet(te)s'?

hehehe... sure, or at the very least, Freemasons


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#3208 - 06/02/00 08:41 AM Re: American terms
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
"Freemasons"?? GREAT!!


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#3209 - 06/02/00 11:53 AM Re: American terms
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10513
Loc: this too shall pass
>Shouldn't that make the Northerners 'masonet(te)s'?

oh sure; and southern belles who get too much sun are raisonettes.


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#3210 - 06/02/00 03:23 PM Re: American terms
David108 Offline
member

Registered: 05/09/00
Posts: 112
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
>>Shouldn't that make the Northerners 'ma(i)sonet(te)s'?<<

I would have thought that Northerners lived in them!






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#3211 - 06/02/00 06:29 PM Re: American terms
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
>>>>Shouldn't that make the Northerners 'ma(i)sonet(te)s'?<<

I would have thought that Northerners lived in them! <<<

So do southerners!








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#3212 - 06/02/00 06:31 PM Re: American terms
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
>>southern belles who get too much sun are raisonettes.<<

Why, that's our raison d'etre!




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#3213 - 06/03/00 10:47 AM Re: American terms
juanmaria Offline
member

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 163
Loc: Malaga, Spain.

> Main Entry: grin·go
> Etymology: Spanish, alteration of griego Greek, stranger, from Latin

I think this is a Mexican word, nobody uses it in Spain but I am pretty sure that this ‘griego’ etymology is not correct. I see this ‘green grows’ more plausible. I think that it is an onomatopoetic word that tries to imitate the gibberish that the sounds of a foreign language seem to a stranger.
We have a slang word ‘guiri’ with the same etymology I have supposed for ‘gringo’ that we employ when referring to any non Spanish speaker, but mainly from countries with non Latin languages.
Although it can be used in an offensive way, most time we use it quite amiably -we really owe a lot to tourists-. I even have an English friend -Marcos- and he introduces himself as ‘Marcos el guiri’.


Juan Maria.

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