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I remember at one point knowing a word that meant "overly proud of your own heritage or culture", and basically being racist or at least biased toward your own heritage/culture. Anyone know some words that fit this description?

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chauvinist ... a person displaying exaggerated patriotism – GEdgar Jan 2 '14 at 21:28
gedgar should post your comment as an answer, and nathan should choose it as the answer. – Blessed Geek Jan 2 '14 at 22:12
up vote 10 down vote accepted

For terms that see this in terms of a nation:


relating to or showing a belief that your country is better and more important than other countries (from Merriam-Webster)


the feelings and beliefs of people who think that their country is always right and who are in favor of aggressive acts against other countries (ibid)

See also fascist.

for terms that focus on the racial aspect, I might say "ethnocentric" or "tribal thinking."

A good pejorative adjective for expressing this sort of biased thinking is "jaundiced"

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+1, good answer. But why was it Community-Wiki’ed, @virmaior? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 3 '14 at 0:09
wanted to enable editing for other terms to be included... bad call? – virmaior Jan 3 '14 at 1:04
Anyone can edit answers (once they have enough reputation at least), but if others have more terms, they should just post those as answers. Turning it over to CW means no one gets any points or rep for the answer—it becomes a kind of ‘general knowledge’ answer that's not associated with anyone in particular. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 3 '14 at 1:09
Jingoistic is my choice too. – moonstar2001 Jan 3 '14 at 3:38
Ethnocentric was the word that I was trying to think of. I think it was a key word or something in a Freshman Sociology class. Great answer! I do also like "chauvinistic" below. – Nathan Francy Jan 3 '14 at 5:39

I think you mean "chauvinistic."

The American Heritage Dictionary defines the term as a "[p]rejudiced belief in the superiority of one's own gender, group, or kind: 'the chauvinism . . . of making extraterrestrial life in our own image" (Henry S.F. Cooper, Jr.)'"

The same dictionary explains the word's etymology:

"[French chauvinisme, after Nicolas Chauvin, a legendary French soldier famous for his devotion to Napoleon.]"

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They could be Nationalist. Nationalists come in many types: national nationalism, ethnic nationalism, etc. In some cases, races, cultures, etc. can be considered nations.

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+1 to everything above. I prefer strong language in such cases. You may also find "xenophobe" to be an appropriate pejorative:

A person unduly fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or foreign peoples.

If you don't mind exaggeration, you could probably swing "solipsism" as a mighty smack:

: a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing;
: extreme egocentrism

All definitions are found on Merriam Webster:

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Welcome, @mjb! We like referencing sources here - if you are quoting, provide a link, or the name of the reference book. You might also want to keep in mind that mentioning other answers ("everything above") won't always make sense to viewers of your answer. Viewers don't have to look at answers sorted by votes, and yours could be voted above others :) Perhaps mention specific parts of another answer you agree with or the author of another answer, if that's important - or just comment on and upvote answers you like! – aedia λ Jan 2 '14 at 23:36
mjb, one of my favourite jokes: "Is it just me, or is it solipsistic in here?" :) – Phil M Jones Jan 3 '14 at 9:22
Thank you for the comments Aedia! I'll add citation now. – mjb Jan 4 '14 at 16:09

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