culture shock

Idioms & Phrases

culture shock

A state of confusion and anxiety experienced by someone upon encountering an alien environment. For example, It's not just jet lagit's the culture shock of being in a new country. This term was first used by social scientists to describe, for example, the experience of a person moving from the country to a big city. It is now used more loosely, as in the example. [Late 1930s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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