- a person or thing that greases
Origin of greaserfrom grease, oily hair tonic commonly usedSlang a poor or working-class youth, esp. in the 1950s, often characterized as being rough in manner, wearing a leather jacket, riding a motorcycle, etc.: usually a somewhat derogatory term
Origin of greaserfrom stereotypical notions that such persons have dark, oily hairSlang a person of Latin American, specif. Mexican, origin: a term of contempt or hostility
- One who greases, such as a worker who greases working parts in a machine.
- Slang A tough young man, especially one from a white working-class background who is much involved with motorcycles or cars.
- Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a person of Latin, especially Latin American or Italian, descent.
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.