AskDefine | Define wetback

The Collaborative Dictionary

wetback \wet"back\ n.
A Mexican who enters the United States illegally, by wading across the Rio Grande; -- disparaging and offensive. [PJC]
Hence: An offensive term for a person of Mexican descent, usually intended and considered as an ethnic slur. [WordNet sense 1] Syn: greaser, taco. [WordNet 1.5]

Word Net

wetback n : offensive terms for a person of Mexican descent [syn: greaser, taco]

Moby Thesaurus

Aussie, Boche, Canuck, Chink, DP, Guinea, Hunk, Hunkie, Jerry, Kraut, Krauthead, Mick, Mickey, Paddy, dago, displaced person, emigrant, emigre, evacue, evacuee, exile, expatriate, frog, greaseball, greaser, immigrant, in-migrant, limey, migrant, migrator, migratory worker, out-migrant, stateless person, trekker

English

Pronunciation

  • /wɛt//băk/
  • /wEt/*/băk/

Etymology

First used in 1920's from the presumed effects of swimming or wading across the Rio Grande. Used by the U.S. Government in 1954 with Operation Wetback.

Noun

  1. A Mexican or Central American who illegally enters the United States of America from its southern border.
  2. A person of the Mestizo race, used interchangeably with the Spanish term, mojado.

Translations

Wetback may refer to:
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