Thursday, June 14, 2007

$&^@& (in which the Loveless Cynic explains things)

Well I'm blocked from commenting and the Unapologetic Mexican again. So a word of clarification:
FOB= Fresh Off the Boat, a word, used, as far as I am aware, exclusively by the East Asian American and Desi communities to refer to recent immigrants, particularly those who exhibit "overly ethnic" behavior or a relative absence of assimilation into mainstream American society.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez said...

thank you.

(miss you!)

Magniloquence said...

Awww. Stupid firewall.

But yeah, FOB is a pretty group-specific slang. We used it a lot in high-school. It wasn't exactly pejorative, but it wasn't nice either... and could imply things like cluelessness and aloofness, as well as a lack of more traditionally recognized assimilation things. (So not just not knowing how to dress or how to speak, but not understanding something in class, or holding opinions that just don't make sense to those of us born here, and so on.)

There was a sense that the FOBs didn't want to assimilate, and didn't like people who did. So the ones that could speak English would nonetheless converse ostentatiously in their own language, or pretend they didn't understand things, or berate american-born people for not speaking right or not knowing how to cook right and not being 'authentic' enough.

It's an interesting dynamic, I think. One that I'm not overtly connected to, for obvious reasons... but one I witnessed a lot in high school. (And occasionally see now, but like half our staff could be considered FOBs, and I hear Korean and Tagalog being spoken in the halls almost as often as English. We get a lot more of the Asians vs. Blacks/Hispanics stuff than the AA vs FOB stuff)