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greener

noun; clipping
Informal term for a foreigner with a heavy accent who has come to work legally in the United States. ("That Indian math teacher is definitely a greener; I just can’t understand him.") Apparent Meaning: A foreigner who has recently come to work in the United States. The term is probably related to the green card, a document given by the U.S. government to allow aliens to work in the United States. This document used to be colored green, which lends to the adjective GREEN of the term. The –ER ending is used to indicate that the term identifies a type of person. Possible Reason Used: The economics teacher’s thick accent led the student to believe that the teacher was not originally from the United States. The term GREENER demonstrates an example of metonymy, in which the foreign teacher is characterized by a document that he carries, a green card. Terms that describe foreigners such as F.O.B. ("fresh off the boat") and GREENER are commonly used by young people as in an insulting or condescending manner, generally teasing a foreigner for his or her pronounced accent.
 
My economics teacher was such a greener. I couldn’t understand anything he said.
Etymology : clipping of GREEN from GREEN CARD, formerly a green colored document that gave permanent resident status to aliens in U.S.; -ER used as noun ending to refer to a type of person; GREEN from Old English ‘grene’
Source : Rice student speaking of a high school teacher
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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