fresh off the boat

Michael Newman michael.newman at QC.CUNY.EDU
Tue Nov 30 22:57:41 UTC 2010

An interesting point is that FOB, along with subjects of other recent discussion (LOL and ROFL) have become acronyms as well as initialisms. Increasing numbers of my students are reporting acronym usage. [fɑb]. This happens with ROFL despite of course its blatant violation of spelling to speech mapping though not necessarily any phonotactics.

Michael Newman
Associate Professor of Linguistics
Queens College/CUNY
michael.newman at

On Nov 30, 2010, at 2:35 PM, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM>
> Subject:      Re: fresh off the boat
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 08:12:59PM +0100, Paul Frank wrote:
>> The expression "fresh off the boat" meaning recently immigrated to the
>> United States is not in the OED or in DARE. It ought to be. The OED
>> says that F.O.B. means "free on board," which for all I know it might,
>> but to most people it means "fresh off the boat."
> The OED also says that FOB n.(4) is "a recent immigrant", with
> quotes back to 1968.
> Jesse Sheidlower
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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