A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 25, 2006
Greaser

"Greaser” is an epithet for a Mexican that was used in the 1840s, during the Mexican-American War. The derisive term still has some currency today.


(Historical Dictionary of American Slang, A-G)
greaser n.
a Mexican (hence) a Hispanic person of any nationality; (occ.) any person of southern European birth or ancestry.—used contemptuously.
1836 in G.A. McCall Letters (Apr. 23) 298: The pervading sentiment among the defeated an disorganized “Greasers” was, “sauve qui peut.”
1846 in Ill. State Hist. Soc. Jrnal. (Summer 1953) 166: They would (the greasers) raid and massacre all th Yankees.
1847 McClellan Mexican War Diary 69: The “Greasers” had it all in their own way.

15 October 1846, Defiance (OH) Democrat, pg. 2:
He promises all the “greasers” of Mexico the sacking of Matamoras, should he be victorious, of which he seems positive.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, October 25, 2006 • Permalink