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grease +‎ -er. Applied to mechanics because they frequently become greasy during the course of their work. Applied to toughs because they frequently greased their hair; applied, like "greaseball", to Italians for the same reason. Applied to Mexicans because, at the time the phrase originated, they commonly worked greasing the axles of carts.



greaser (plural greasers)

  1. Someone or something that greases (applies grease).
  2. (slang) A mechanic.
  3. (slang) A biker, a tough.
  4. (US, offensive, ethnic slur) A Latin American, especially a Mexican.
  5. (US, offensive, ethnic slur) An Italian.

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