Classmate: Are you Spanish?
My 9 year old: No… Spanish people are from Spain.
Classmate: ….Oh. My parents thought you might be Spanish.
My 9 year old: I’m not.
Attention Gringos! The word you are looking for is “Latino.” Even “Hispanic” is acceptable to most. You could also say “Of Latin American descent” or “Of Spanish-speaking descent.”
• a language
• a nationality (for people from Spain)
While I’m here I may as well let you know that “Mexican” is also completely unacceptable unless the person is indeed from Mexico.
Lastly, if I hear one more gringa tell me her boyfriend is “Salvadorian,” I might hurt somebody. It is “SALVADORAN” … You don’t call yourself an Americanian, right?