1899, U.S. military slang for "Filipino" during the insurrection there, probably from a native word, or imitative of the babbling sound of a strange language to American ears (compare barbarian). The term goo-goo eyes "soft, seductive eyes" was in vogue c. 1900 and may have contributed to this somehow. Extended over time to "Nicaraguan" (U.S. intervention there early 20c.), "any Pacific Islander" (World War II), "Korean" (1950s), "Vietnamese" and "any Asian" (1960s).
Web design and development by MaoningTech.