American Born Confused Desi vs. Fresh Off The Boat

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Difference between American Born Confused Desi and Fresh Off The Boat

As the title goes, if one looks closely, there is not much of a difference between these two terms. As far as American Born Confused Desi or ABCD goes, it refers specifically to South-Asian-heritage Americans. This is in contrast to the term Fresh off the Boat or FOB, which refers to those who have just immigrated from a foreign land and still carry traits of their former countrymen and have not yet become accustomed to the culture of the host country.

American Born Confused Desi
Fresh Off The Boat

Cultural Aspect 

The American Born Confused Desi would refer to children who have been born and brought up in the U.S. instead of their own Motherlands. These children are taken for granted to have confused ideas about their own identity and what backgrounds they come from or hold onto. Yet, this is not necessarily the case today. Most of the ABCDs are confident and have a great footing. They should not be referred to anymore as ABCDs. On the other hand, Fresh off the Boats or the FOBs are not originally confused but they do need time to get accustomed and assimilate knowledge about their host country and local customs in order to become comfortable and blend in somewhat.

Value Systems

Individuals who fall into the category of the American Born Confused Desi are often thought of as an alien group but it is not so. They have friends of Indian origin as well as non-Indian ones. They mix well with others and embody proper upbringing with the essential set of moral values. As for their cultural values, they usually go for a mix of cultures depending on who they choose to identify with and hang around. So, it can be seen that they are a progressing lot. It is increasingly seen that this group of people is not hesitating to make significant departures from their parents values and could easily change their religion or marry a non-Indian of their own choice. Fresh off the Boats often face trouble on the go. They have to accept a lot of things like sacrificing their nationalistic feelings just to show that they are up-to-date with their peers and co-workers. FOBs often go along with the conventional wisdom and could go so far as to outwardly proclaim sensible ideas are silly or vice versa.


It is noticed that there are innumerable Punjabis who have settled in the United Stated and thereby, referring to ABCDs we see, that the youth are proud of their origin and they make sure it is present in every habit. Taking up music as an aspect, we find that the Punjabis in the US mix songs of both languages to give it a livelier feel. This gives a feeling of belongingness. Yet it is also seen that the Indian parents of these children find it difficult to get rid of some of the habits that they acquire by mixing with the US youth. FOBs find the differentiations in the culture as a means of pride. They tend to retain their culture and traditions.

Similarities and Differences

  • Both ABCD and FOB are American coinages and are targeted at immigrants.
  • ABCD refers to second generation immigrants while FOB refers to first generation.
  • FOB is considered more derogatory than ABCD, which can be used casually.
  • The best detailed descriptions of the subtleties of these challenges are most publicly explained via comedians, the most famous of whom could be Russell Peters.

ABCD and FOB Video

Who would you rather be?
  • American Born Confused Desi
  • Fresh Off The Boat

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