Etymology
Advertisement
greaser (n.)

early 14c. (as a surname), "one who smears salve on a sheep," agent noun from grease (v.). As a contemptuous American English slang for "native Mexican or Latin American," first attested 1848, a term from the Mexican-American War; supposedly so called from unclean appearance, but contemporary sources sometimes explain it otherwise: an 1848 account of the war defines it as "friendly Mexican," and adds:

It may here be necessary to explain, as the terms are frequently made use of, that mocho is a low Spanish word for a foot-soldier, and the term greaser we suppose is a corruption of word grazier, the class of péons or labourers of the country. [Samuel C. Ried Jr., "The Scouting Expeditions of McCulloch's Texas Rangers," Philadelphia, 1848]

Greaseball in same sense is from 1934 (earlier it was World War I slang for "an army cook," and from 1922 for "mechanic").

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
hoedown (n.)

"noisy dance," 1841, Southern U.S., apparently originally the name of a specific dance, perhaps from perceived similarity of dance motions to those of farm chores, hence from hoe (n.).

The step of every negro dance that was ever known, was called into requisition and admirably executed. They performed the "double shuffle," the "Virginny break-down," the "Kentucky heeltap," the "pigeon wing," the "back balance lick," the "Arkansas hoe down," with unbounded applause and irresistible effect. ["Scouting Expeditions of McCulloch's Texas Rangers," 1848]

"Hoe corn, hill tobacco" is noted as a line in the chorus of a slave song in 1838, and Washington Irving writes of a dance called "hoe corn and dig potatoes" in 1807.

The same precedence is repeated until all the merchandise is disposed of, the table is then banished the room, and the whole party hoe it down in straight fours and set dances, till the hour when "ghosts wandering here and there, troop home to church-yards." This is what we kintra folk call a strauss. ["Der Teufelskerl. A Tale of German Pennsylvania," in Burton's Gentleman's Magazine, January 1840]
Related entries & more