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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"native or inhabitant of Texas," 1925, from American Spanish, formerly Texano "a Texan" (see Texas).


Tejano or Texano (Spanish for "Texan") is a term used to identify a resident of Texas of Criollo Spanish or Mexican American heritage.

Historically, the Spanish term Tejano has been used to identify various groups of people. During the Spanish colonial era, the term was primarily applied to Spanish settlers of the region now known as the state of Texas (first it was part of New Spain and after 1821 it was part of Mexico). After settlers entered from the United States and gained the independence of the Republic of Texas, the term was applied to Spanish-speaking Texans, Hispanicized Germans, and other Spanish-speaking residents.

Since the early 20th century, Tejano has been more broadly used to identify a Texan Mexican American. It is also a term used to identify natives, as opposed to newcomers, in the areas settled. Latino people of Texas identify as Tejano if their families were living there before the area was controlled by Anglo Americans.

Usage examples of "tejano".

Mexicano, Mexican, Mexican-American, Mestizo, Latin American, Nuevomexicano, Californio, Tejano, and on and on.