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I have always thought the word gafete meant a name tag or ID badge. I was surprised to find out that it apparently is a word specific to Mexico and there is not a real consensus as to what the word is actually referring.

Possibilities are the clip that holds the name badge on. Also it could be simply any form of ID or granted permission, though that was only mentioned once in the discussion.

Doing a google search for the word gafete is not much of a help either.

Whatever the exact definition and meaning of gafete is, it is used to mean a form of identification or temporary permission granted by wearing a badge that is easily seen.

  • 1

    I’m confirming your belief that it means id card. Salinas, CA has a large Mexican population and they use that term on the streets. The street vendors are now required to have identification cards and they refer to it that way.

    Richard Lopez on May 19th, 2008
  • 2

    Thanks for the comment and confirmation on the way it is used.

    David on May 19th, 2008
  • 3

    I am so glad you I was able to find this website. I was looking for the spelling of gafete and luckily I found it here.

    Yes, we also use the word “gafete” when referring to name tag.

    M. Escareno on October 22nd, 2008
  • 4

    The word is also used to refer to i.d. cards issued to drivers and other persons with a need to enter the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commercial Compound in Nogales, Arizona.

    David Wright on January 25th, 2010
  • 5

    A “gafete” is referred to an ID badge with a clip on usually issued by a company or an institution that identifies a person. Many institutions require that you use a “gafete” during your work hours. It means that people around you can easily identify who you are and where you work. Any other type of identification that is carried in your wallet would not be considered a “gafete”. A “gafete” has to have a clip or lanyard.

    Alejandra on January 20th, 2012


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