Monday, May 30, 2011

Este gabacho habla bastante español

Although I had heard the term gabacho before, it had never been directed at me.  But don't worry, it wasn't an insult.

I've also heard the term gabachita, which stems from gabacho.  I heard this when a waitress I was talking to in Mexico pointed to her friend (another waitress) and told me her co-worker, "la gabachita" spoke really good Spanish.  She eventually confessed that her friend wasn't a gabacha, but in fact a Mexicana, and was just pulling my leg.

Ok, at this point I guess I need to get on with it and explain what a gabacho (gabacha) is.

The truth is, you already know what a gabacho is.  Gabacho is often used instead of gringo.  And gabachita is just a variation of gabacha.  You see, the waitress I was speaking with at the bar called her co-worker a gabachita because her co-worker looked more like a a red-blooded American than a Mexican.   And that's exactly how the term is used, to refer to Americans, just like gringo.

Bolillo is another term.  It's actually a kind of white bread that you can probably find in your local Wal-Mart, and it's used to specifically refer to white Americans. 

If you're wondering whether or not the words gabacho, gringo or bilillo are offensive, well, the answer is a definate maybe. 

You see, while many Spanish speakers will be familar with these words, who considers what to be offensive various tremendously, so becareful.  When in doubt ask.  Although I suspect you're not likely to use them as much as you are to hear them. 

¡Hasta la próxima!


  1. haha, I usually use "gabacho" to refer to the frenchies; didn't know the mexicans used it too!

    "bolillo" reminds me of how we used to call our white friends back in college "white bread" or "doughboy." They didn't like it!

  2. When I lived in San Antonio I often heard the term bolillo used to mean a guero, white boy living amongst the mexican community.

  3. I just discovered your site. Thanks so much --Es muy interesante!
    I'm now enjoying the Destinos lessons!

  4. Bolillo... is bread prepared without "eggs". In México testicles can be named "eggs" in a colloquial form. So, if you call "bolillo" some male, you can be laughing or offending him, take care. But it is not common to call someone "bolillo". The use of "huevos", instead, is direct and very popular between kids, teenagers, old people... A rude word out of the kitchen, even many people say "blanquillos" to avoid "huevos, hahahaha, but you know, every euphemism is "un cuchillo de doble filo".

  5. And for gabacho, effectively comes from Spaniards who hate the French Napoleon's Empire over Spain and other countries, and it was used by Mexicans when the French Interventions, during 19th Century (Guerra de los Pasteles and Empire of Maximiliano de Habsburgo).