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Justin's Life

Welcome to my new blog. I plan to write about all sorts of things here, my life in Spain, ineresting things and ideas I've come across, places I've visited and so much more. Hope you enjoy it and please leave comments as your input is always appreciated.

We are all "guiris" so don't be offended
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 @ 2:19 PM

British in Spain

I was having an interesting chat with a couple of Spanish friends this morning about the term "guiri" which the Spanish use to talk about a foreigner.

I know many people believe it's an insult to be called a guiri, but in actual fact it's not.  It's as harmless as calling someone a "Brit" or a "German".  There's nothing bad in it at all.

My friend Alberto thought the term originated in the 1970s when you used to get a lot of Swedish and Norwegian girls on holiday in Spain, and as they couldn't say "girls" properly it sort of morphed into guiri.

He was actually wrong.  The term goes back to the Franco days and it was used to describe the "wonderful" Guardia Civil.   Over the years the use of the word changed, particularly in the Catalan region of Spain and today just means foreigner.

So, if you do get called a guiri don't worry, no one is being horrible to you.  It's a perfectly harmelss word.

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Pete Clark said:
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 @ 1:02 PM

I often wondered if the word came from a shortening of extranjeros - which is far too long for a hot day.

Sort of, starting with the "jeros" bit, then morphing it a little.

Loads of other theories here...

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