The term 'Mulatto'
- [The term] "Mulatto" (also `Mulato') is one of Spanish and /
or Portuguese origin --- describing people of mixed European and
African racial descent. The feminine form is `mulata' or `mulatta'.
In colonial Latin-America, the term originally referred to
the children of one European and one African parent,
but today refers to all people with a significant
amount of both European and African ancestry.
One criticism of the term is that it ignores the high rate of
racial intermixing in North America, in which few people
have African ancestry without some European ancestry,
albeit with significantly higher quantities of African.
Worthy of mention is the [racist] historic Anglo-American tradition
of the One-Drop Rule, where any person with `any amount' of African
blood is also [erroneously categorized under the term] `black'.
Some people consider the term pejorative, as it derives
from the Spanish word Mula, mule; literally the sterile
hybrid offspring resulting from the crossbreeding
of a male donkey and a female horse.
Another possible origin is in the Arabic word Mwallad.