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The initialization "WASP" stands for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.[note 1] These are the people who have traditionally run the United States of America, as the descendants of the original British colonists. In many cases, it was also easily substituted for "the Establishment", a term often used for the East Coast Ivy League-educated elites who used to run foreign policy and both the State Department and the CIA. In recent years, the hold of the WASPs has diminished, much to the chagrin of some racists.

While the term was originally used to talk about the elite position held by some WASPs, today it is a mildly derogatory one. It has connotations of boring people with no real culture, living plastic existences while forever chasing after something "real".[note 2] A synonym for this derogatory usage is "white bread".


The term WASP has also come to be slang for usually right-leaning pundits or politicians who try to relate to the lower-middle class "common man", despite having grown up in a middle-to-upper class home. WASP pundits tend to be rich and present themselves as "self-made men", even if they actually don't have to do much difficult work since they are paid more for pushing an ideological line than they are for being talented, which isn't exactly intellectual heavy work. Prominent WASPs include:

  • David Cameron and Boris Johnson
  • Rush Limbaugh, the poster child for this. He was a college drop-out who came from a family of prominent lawyers (like they named a federal courthouse after his grandfather and it wasn't even particularly illegitimate prominent) and he got lucky enough to run into Roger Ailes, who set him up with a nice gig pushing a radical right point of view on the radio.
  • At Salem Radio Network, a good chunk of the hosts would qualify as this, such as Bill Bennett.



  1. The fact that, as Urban DictionaryWikipedia observed, "WASP" can also stand for "We Are Sexual Perverts" is just an amusing coincidence.
  2. See many early Kinks (and other sixties bands) songs.