#164: American Stereotypes: What Are We Really Like?

What do you usually think of people from the United States? Do you think we’re fat, arrogant, and love guns? Or maybe that we’re usually tall, blonde, white, and drive big cars?

In this episode we’ll discuss some common American stereotypes, what is an “Ugly American,” and which of these, if any, are actually true! This might just come in handy before you travel to the USA, or if you are just curious about American culture.

Let’s jump in!

Do you have any American stereotypes? Or funny stereotypes about your country? COMMENT Below!

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Words You’ll Learn:

  • Salute – a gesture of respect made by putting one’s hand to one’s foreheard
  • Sommersalts – a gymnastic roll
  • Rags – old cloths often used for cleaning, or ragged clothing
  • Rags to riches – a story of someone who goes from being poor to rich
  • Sky is the limit – the possibilities are infinite
  • Can-do attitude – having a determination and openness to work hard and try anything
  • Guns – slang used to refer to one’s arm muscles
  • Flex – to contract a muscle
  • Cynical – having a negative view of others
  • Ugly American – a pejorative term used to refer to perceptions of loud, arrogant, demeaning, thoughtless, ignorant, and ethnocentric behavior of American citizens mainly abroad, but also at home. Although the term is usually associated with or applied to travelers and tourists, it also applies to U.S. corporate businesses in the international arena
  • Pejorative – expressing contempt or disapproval
  • Belittle – to dismiss as unimportant
  • Flip (one’s) lid – to explode with anger
  • Melting pot – a place characterized by a mix of many different cultures, ethnicities, races, etc.
  • Duality – contrast of two concepts or aspects
  • Buff – strong
  • In the buff – naked
  • Wasted – very drunk
  • WASP – White Anglo-Saxon Protestants – thought to be characteristic of the majority of people with money and power in the United States
  • Kickback – the reaction a gun has when it’s fired that can be dangerous if one is not prepared


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  • Judith says:

    This is a real helpful to learn English words and listening practicse. Thank you.

  • Nika says:

    Hi guys! It’s real pleasure to listen to your podcasts – always good vibe and loads of fun and interesting news. Keep up! Greeetings from Poland this time 😉

    • Justin says:

      Hey Nika, Thanks for your nice words, and good vibes. Much appreciated!

  • Mai says:

    Do you have transcript ? ^^

  • luis perez says:

    Some might have to rely on captions altogether as they have no access/right to the system because they are just using a school PC… Could you possibly add them?

  • Andrew says:

    Same thing here: direct download link leads to podcast 162

  • Andrew says:

    In fact, I hate all these stereotypes because this is just ridiculous to think that it might be true. When you meet someone and say that you are from some country that person immediately think like “Got you…”
    Whaat?! This is ridiculous to think so, again, I really don’t get it how it is possible at all (to think that way).
    “Of course, you know my name, but you don’t know the way I am” like song goes. Same stuff with countries cuz you simply can’t know anything beforehand about that particular stranger just after you’ve known from which country he/she is. It takes time to get know each other, so don’t judge book by its cover, so to say.
    And yes, I can say that in my native country people divided into several groups in terms of stereotypes about American: some people strongly believe that the USA is the evil becouse of all these things that you listed in this podcast, but another group aim to move there because of “endless” opportunities out there. Finally, there is a lot of people who are aware of pros and cons this very country and they perceive all information quite adequate, that’s why they always open to have a chat with a stranger, even though he is American lol.