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In the TV show "From dusk till dawn", many (every?) Mexican characters call a Texas Ranger "pinche rinche", or sometime simply "rinche". I guess from the context that it's some low-key insult.

I understand "pinche" as, in this context, an offensive word, but I don't understand "rinche". Some dictionaries translate it like "corner" (which doesn't seem to make any sense), some others don't list the word at all (which seems to indicate it's slang).

I don't know if it's relevant, but everyone using this term in the show is a criminal tied to a very specific cartel (which doesn't exist in real life - it's a vampire's cartel).

Is it a word that is really used to designate a Ranger (or maybe a cop)? Or is it a term specially invented for this show?

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  • I would agree that "pinche" is just another (pejorative) way of referring to law enforcers (like pacos in Chile or madera in Spain). A quick google search highlights that "rinche" is "A pejorative term used for Texas Rangers in Mexico. Border Guard. Literally brimming over." (see here). There are other examples, but I could not figure out the etymology.
    – Diego
    Oct 8 '20 at 13:24
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    The Urban Dictionary says that rinche is indeed a pejorative term used to refer to the Texas Rangers in Mexico. About etymology, I would wildly guess that "rinche" sounds quite similar to how the word "ranger" is pronounced in English.
    – wimi
    Oct 8 '20 at 13:25
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    Thanks, so it looks like a very specific term. I tend to agree that "rinche" sounds like "ranger". Urban Dictionary looks like a really valuable source for this kind of stuff, thank you for letting me know. If one of you would have the kindness to write that as an answer, i would upvote it.
    – thibsert
    Oct 8 '20 at 13:34
  • @thibsert I did not write it as an answer because I still think it is a quite wild guess and I do not have a source. (Urban Dictionary is a good source for English slang, not for Spanish, and it does not mention the etymology of this word). I prefer to wait a bit and see if someone has more information or finds a source. I am happy to have helped though, and welcome to the site!
    – wimi
    Oct 8 '20 at 13:49
  • "Pinche" means "fucking," and I'm guessing, "rinche" is just to rhyme or to refer to a ranger or a cop, "fuckin cops," "fuckin rangers." My friend just returned from working in Mexico a few months ago and the key phrase there was "pinche Covid." :)
    – Renee
    Feb 17 at 17:27
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rinche

...
MASCULINE NOUN
2. (pejorative) (border guard) (Mexico)

  • Texas ranger
    Los rinches detuvieron a un hombre que intentaba cruzar la frontera. — The Texas Rangers detained a man who was trying to cross the border.

Its etymology is from English ranger, possibly influenced by pinche etc:

El estrecho contacto con EE.UU. genera por su lado la adaptación de voces inglesas: rinche (de ranger, policía militar rural para la represión del bandidaje, análoga a los rurales, pero que designa todo cuerpo policial de EE.UU.)352
...
352. Paredes va más allá al afirmar que “todo americano armado y montado que sale a matar mexicanos es un rinche para la comunidad del corrido” (“Any American armed and mounted and out to kill Mexicans is a rinche to the corrido folk”) [1958: 220-1], en una detallada reflexión sobre el término donde examina su adaptación fonética y sugiere que es cacofónica y se asocia a voces como chinche o pinche.

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It could also be as simple as pinche being a kitchen assistant who is just not in charge. Rinche meaning filled to the brim. Perhaps a cook who thinks too highly of themselves but is no chef?

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    Welcome to the site! Why do you think "rinche" means "filled to the brim"? I have not found that definition online.
    – wimi
    Mar 4 at 8:26

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