wetback

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

Noun[edit]

wetback (plural wetbacks)

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

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