Fresh off the boat

Fresh off the boat

The phrases Fresh off the boat (FOB), Off the boat (OTB), or just simply Boat; are terminologies used to describe immigrants that have arrived from a foreign nation and have not yet assimilated into the host nation's culture, language, and behavior.[1] Within some ethnic Asian circles in the United States, the phrase is considered politically incorrect and derogatory. It can also be used to describe the stereotypical behavior of new immigrants as, for example, their poor driving skills,[2] that they are educated yet working low-skilled or unskilled jobs, and their use of broken English. The term originates in the early days of immigration, when people mostly migrated to other countries by ship.

In the sociology of ethnicity, this term can be seen as an indicator of a nature of diasporic communities, or communities that have left their country of origin and migrated, usually permanently, to another country. The term has also been adapted by immigrants themselves or others in their community who see the differentiation as a source of pride, where they have retained their culture and have not lost it to assimilation. In fact, instead of taking this harm-intended phrase as an insult, many Korean, Japanese, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Indian, and Chinese people (especially their American-born children,) use this term to describe their cultural Asian habits and fashion sense, for example "fobby clothing", "fobby glasses" and "fobby accent."

In some instances, an "ethnic community" may find it difficult to shed an FOB image, independent of the degree of their assimilation. Although some try to assimilate, they may fail due to the very swift transition to the host continent.[3]

In the United Kingdom 'fresh off the boat' are referred to as freshies or simply FOBs and in the United States they are referred to as F.O.B (fresh off the bone or boat).

See also


  1. ^ Goleman, Daniel. Social intelligence: the new science of human relationships (illustrated ed.). Random House, Inc.. p. 305. ISBN 0553803522, 9780553803525. 
  2. ^ Sturgeon, Ron; Gahan Wilson (2005). Business jargon (illustrated, abridged ed.). Ron Sturgeon. p. 139. ISBN 0971703116, 9780971703117. 
  3. ^ Reinelt, Janelle G.; Joseph R. Roach (2007). Critical theory and performance (revised, illustrated ed.). University of Michigan Press. p. 161. ISBN 0472068865, 9780472068869. 

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