The context is from the movie "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas" The following text is the main character's narration of things and people he sees while walking around a casino in Las Vegas.

        Who are these people?  These faces!
        Where do they come from?  They look
        like caricatures of used car
        dealers from Dallas.           
        And, sweet Jesus, there are a hell
        of a lot of them at four-thirty on
        a Monday morning.  Still **humping**
        the American dream, that vision of
        the big winner somehow emerging
        from the last minute predawn chaos
        of a stale Vegas casino.

The only definition I found that might have something to do with this context is this one 6. Slang. to exert (oneself) in a great effort. (It's from thefreedictionary.com)


1 Answer 1


It's just a vaguely obscene metaphor. "Have sex with the American Dream".

Humping is not like "making love". It's boring, routine sex, done without much emotion or connection.

The American dream is that "You can achieve anything! (if you work for it)" These guys are dreaming of getting rich, but they aren't emotionally connected to that dream, and not to the bit about "working for it". It is boring and routine.

But by using vulgar language, Duke gets to insult these people.

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