We know what it means, but… where does the word guiri come from?
Almost everyone in Spain has ever used the word turnalthough it is not easy to explain what it means, because it has different connotations. The British newspaper Daily Mail explains its translation to its readers, and tries to discover the origin of the word.
And turn it’s a foreign tourist, but it does not usually apply to everyone. It is mainly aimed at british tourists o germans who arrive in Spain in Shorts, white socks y flip flopsand it is distinguished that they are tourists 10 kilometers away.
The Daily Mail newspaper gets the definition right, explaining that it can be used with a positive or negative connotation.
They call it “the secret nickname” that we give to the British, and although it has little secret, it is true that it is a word that we use among ourselves, we do not usually say it to them.
usually has a pejorative tone: it is used as a mockery or superiority, to describe a tourist a foreigner who does not adopt local customs, who behaves foolishly, who gets drunk, or who only needs to look at his clothes to know that he is German or British.
But also, in certain contexts, it is used in affectionate toneTo refer to a stranger we appreciate. The Daily Mail cites some press headlines after the death of the beloved soccer player and television presenter Michael Robinson, who was dismissed by some Spanish newspaper with phrases such as “The most beloved foreigner in Spain.”
Where does the word guiri come from?
The British medium has tried to discover How originated this curious nickname for the foreign tourists.
The word turn It began to be used during the Carlist Wars, in the 19th century. It seems that he was born in the Basque Country. This was what the Carlists, supporters of Infante Carlos, defenders of the traditional monarchy, called their rivals, supporters of Queen María Cristina de Borbón, who bet on a more modern monarchy.
Supposedly turn derives from the word in Basque grisitinowhich means Cristina, according to El País.
According to this, the origin of the word is political. So, When did it start to be used with foreign tourists? Apparently by chance. At Expo 92 in Seville, the Canadian diplomat Gary Bedell became very popular in the city. From his name Gary derived Guiri, and it began to be applied to foreign tourists.
The word turn has drawn the attention of british media, and they have not been very amused. Now you know what it means, so don’t drop it on a British Guirythinking that he will not understand her…