phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

"FOB" (Fresh Off the Boat)

Posted by Bob on June 13, 2001

In Reply to: "FOB" (Fresh Off the Boat) posted by R. Berg on June 12, 2001

: : Does anyone know the origin of FOB (pronounced "fawb")?

: : I have some Asian friends who joke about being "fobs," ie. international students or immigrants to America. But I've also heard people use this term in a derrogatory sense.

: : I'm curious about the origin, how long this term has been in existence (it must've been back when people travelled by boat instead of plane!), and who originally used the term politically and who it referred to politically. (For example, did WASP Americans use it to refer to European immigrants in the late 1800s, etc etc). Nowadays I've only heard it used to refer to Asian immigrants by Asian Americans and international students.

: : Thanks for any info.

: "Fresh off the boat"--the whole phrase, not the short form--has definitely been applied to immigrants from all over, not just Asia. I don't know how far back in history it goes.

Then there are FIBs. It's a colorful term used by the employees of Wisconsin resorts (just over the Illinois line) to refer to loud-mouth big city types from Chicago (nobody I know, I'm sure). The middle word is Illinois, and you can puzzle out the rest.