I was watching Addams family yesterday. During the dinner in the "cave" Gomez said about Uncle Fester, that he is continental person.

I understand that English people talking about Europeans as continental. But what does that mean, taking into account that this is American movie?

2 Answers 2


In the US, they refer to Europe as "the Continent" - as in the continent of Europe. It is a reference to the fact the the US has one (English-speaking (oh, OK, and French-speaking)) country to the North (Canada), and a Spanish-speaking country (Mexico) to the South - in stark comparison to the melange of languages and cultures in Europe.

"Continental" is (was?) used as an adjective to describe a level of higher culture than the plebeian culture of America.

  • Sounds like a correct answer! Uncle Fester was (is) able to speak 12 languages.
    – V.G.
    Nov 30, 2016 at 10:27

"Continental" was used as an adjective in "Diamonds are a girl's best friend. Remember Marilyn singing : "A kiss on the hand may be quite continental". It seems referring to old schooled European manners surviving in the United States, high class synonymous.

  • Hello Gastoon, and welcome to the site! Here, answers cannot be mere personal opinions, but should be fact that could be backed up with authoritative references --usually a reliable dictionary-- or several citations that clearly demonstrate the meaning. Also, if your conclusion is the same as another user's answer, there's no point in answering. Just upvote the existing answer, and perhaps leave anything else, like the Marilyn Monroe quote, as a comment on that answer. If you'd like to improve your answer, please edit it. If not, it will be deleted.
    – gotube
    Sep 5 at 23:45

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