I understand that a leaf blower is the equipment you use to blow leaves.

Can you also call the person who uses such an equipment a leaf blower, too?

It seems that a "leaf blower" is used sometimes to refer to a Mexican gardener in a derogatory way in America.

Can you call someone a leaf blower without being offensive? In other words, is the derogatory sense always associated with this term when used to refer to a person who uses a leaf blower?

Thank you

  • 5
    Could you just call them a gardener?
    – Ronan
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 9:20
  • 2
    or lawn maintenance worker.
    – SrJoven
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 13:21
  • 2
    It's slang and is indeed considered derogatory.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 13:40
  • 1
    Intent is so much about the HOW rather than the WHAT. Commented Jul 18, 2015 at 19:42
  • 1
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


I've never heard that used as a derogatory term. But then I've never moved in circles rich enough to hire gardeners. The conventional derogatory term for Mexicans in America is "wetback". But if some are now using this term as an insult, I guess you have to be careful with it.

If a Mexican is a skilled brain surgeon and you called him a "leaf blower", I guess he'd take that as an insult. But if two Mexicans were working on the lawn and you said, "Jorge is the weed puller and Pedro is the leaf blower", that doesn't sound insulting to me, but a simple statement of fact. If someone said he was offended by that, I'd just reword it. Like say, "Jorge is pulling the weeds and Pedro is cleaning up the leaves" or some such.

If someone routinely refers to all Mexicans as "leaf blowers" ... well, it sounds like an odd insult to me, but he presumably intends it as an insult. People can be super-sensitive about words, but if someone is clearly TRYING to insult you, I think you have a right to be offended.


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