Definition of cultural cringe in English:

cultural cringe


Australian, NZ
  • The view that one's own national culture is inferior to the cultures of other countries.

    ‘there are signs that the cultural cringe is on the retreat’
    • ‘He helped to remove whatever cultural cringe might have been left in Irish writing.’
    • ‘The cultural cringe is over folks, we no long need to defend something just because it has a "made in Australia" sticker.’
    • ‘I think there's a cultural cringe about the film industry that doesn't seem to exist in the music industry or in sport.’
    • ‘We still suffer from the cultural cringe factor—young people think it is cooler to identify themselves with Canada or North America than their own country.’
    • ‘I feel no cultural cringe, and no need to apologise for New Zealand books, sculpture, painting, dance, theatre, or fashion.’
    • ‘The problem lies with the cultural cringe around our home-grown story telling.’
    • ‘Her more recent quoted comments were excessive and unfortunate, and exhibit a cultural cringe that serves only to alienate most readers.’
    • ‘The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has been an important component in ridding this most talented country of the cultural cringe that for far too long saw us apologising for the quality of our artistic endeavours.’
    • ‘This will sound like deplorable cultural cringe, but, crikey, in this area the Poms just do it better.’
    • ‘John returned and kick-started the irreverent, raw theatre that's helped Australians get over the old cultural cringe.’


1950s: coined by A. A. Phillips in an essay of the same name.