"Indian or mixed-race person of Latin America" (fem. Chola), 1851, from American Spanish (c. 1600), said to be from Nahuatl (Aztecan) xolotl "dog, mutt." Proposed derivation from Mexican city of Cholula seems too late, if this is the same word. In U.S., used of lower-class Mexican immigrants, but by 1970s the word began to be embraced in Latino gang slang in a positive sense.
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