Eurotrash

By Deane Barker

Definition: upper class Europeans who tend to travel frequently and are associated with condescension and arrogance

From the definition (and the word itself), this feels pejorative (no one wants to be “trash”).

Urban Dictionary has some fun with it.

A person, male or female, from Continental Europe who spends most of the time partying and jet-setting around the globe in the most conspicuous (sometimes rude) manner to seek fun and sunshine.

[…] Someone who has no class or style, usually European but sometimes other people can be called that. usually wear very bad suits bright clothing and sunglasses.

[…] a male, probably balding, with an expensive German sports car (preferably a convertible) who wears a tremendous amount of cologne, surrounds himself with other European men, likes to dance (like a girl mind you), speaks with a thick french accent and is extremely pompous

The Racial Slur Database even has an entry, but there’s nothing racial about it.

A pseudo-intellectual who believes they are are smart and Americans are stupid.

A Redditor had a good definition:

Really annoying Europeans abroad. Imagine the stereotype of loud Americans in Scotland saying “Oh isn’t it so quaint here in England” and just generally treating the culture of the place they are in with ignorance and sometimes arrogance. Obviously most American tourists are fine just like most European tourists are fine, but it’s the minority which give the reputation to the rest. Just imagine Rich french, German Spanish or what ever families going to America for some reason and really not enjoying it and letting everyone know that they are not enjoying it. That’s one kind of Eurotrash.

Particularly, it seems to refer to Europeans who are outside their home country, which causes other people to look at them derisively as some form of “preemptive disdain” (I look down on you because I feel like you’re looking down on me).

One resource claimed that the term is not pejorative:

Is Eurotrash a pejorative? Despite it containing the word “trash,” I say no. Eurotrash is merely another way to tag the people we see out at night. It’s no more a slur than hipster, “socialite,” frat boy, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, Charlotte or B&T. OK, maybe it’s not quite a term of endearment.

It was also the name of a popular TV Show in the UK in the 90s that poked fun at European culture and politics.

It was the title of a 2021 book that was very clearly derogatory to Europe: Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent. (The writer of the book also writes for the National Review, and is a noted political conservative. Interestngly, this was the only usage I could find in that context, which is odd because I feel like this term would be seized on by the American Right.)

Overall, I feel like “Eurotrash” might be the European version of “redneck.”

Why I Looked It Up

I had seen the term for years. I can’t remember what finally prompted me to look it up.

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