Wetback meaning

wĕt'băk'
Used as a disparaging term for a person of Mexican birth or descent, especially one who has crossed the US-Mexico border illegally.
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A Mexican agricultural laborer who illegally enters or is brought into the U.S. to work: a term of derision or contempt.
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(derogatory slang) A Mexican or Central American who illegally enters the United States of America from its southern border.
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(derogatory slang) A person of the Mestizo race, used interchangeably with the Spanish term mojado.
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Origin of wetback

  • From the fact that the Rio Grande is a common entry point
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • 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.
    From Wiktionary