See also: wasp

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WASP (plural WASPs)

  1. (US) Initialism of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, a member of the supposed ruling class of America.
    • 1989 March 19, Elizabeth Janeway, “The Brotherhood of the WASP”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      Bill got to college only by dint of support from a female relative and heiress (a useful WASP resource) and by scholarships, then a symbol of WASP entitlement.
    • 1993 October 31, Maureen Dowd, quoting Joseph Alsop, “The WASP Descendancy”, in The New York Times[2], →ISSN:
      Joseph Alsop, the acerbic columnist she married in 1961, called his crowd “the ever-diminishing group of survivors of the WASP ascendancy.” It was a world of perfect manners and closely held power, not hugs and meaningful exchanges.
    • 2021, Doug Henwood, “Take Me to Your Leader: The Rot of the American Ruling Class”, in Jacobin:
      We once had a coherent ruling class, the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs), who more or less owned and ran the United States from its founding through the 1970s. Based largely in the Northeast, with offshoots in the Upper Midwest, WASPs went to the same elite schools and colleges, belonged to the same clubs, married out of the same pool, and vacationed in the same favorite rural retreats. There were Southern WASPs, descendants of the slave-owning gentry, but they never had the social weight of their northern relatives—although they did rule their region and enjoy an outsized role in Congress for decades.
  2. (historical) Initialism of Women Airforce Service Pilots.

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