Demonym- names of nationalities (name given to people from a place).
The word gringo was first recorded in the Diccionario castellano con las voces de Ciencias y Artes y sus correspondientes en las 3 lenguas francesa, latina e italiana (1786-1793) by Terreros y Pando, where it is defined as:
Gringos is what, in Malaga, they call foreigners who have a certain type of accent that prevents them from speaking Castilian easily and naturally; and in Madrid they give the same name, in particular, to the Irish.
If you look up “Gringo” in the Spanish dictionary you will find 7 definitions. We bring your attention to two:
1. adj. Foreginer, specially english speaker, and in general a speaker of a non-spanish language.
7. masc. Unintelligible language (Language not capable of being understood)
Where people think Gringo comes from:
- Because of the prominence of Irish Americans in the Regiment, the Regimental Song was “Green Growthe Lilacs”. It is possible since the soldiers would sing this song as they rode on their horses, the Mexican’s associated them with Green Go….
- The US had a green batallion which would advance when the generals would yell “Green go“.
Since the Mexican-American war was not till 1840’s, even though the “Green-go” story is great, we have to recognize that is not the real story.