“He was your stereotypical sleazy car salesman.”

English Lesson: He was your stereotypical sleazy car salesman.

You bought a used car recently. The salesman who sold you the car had a strange personality, so you're telling a friend the story of buying the car. You say:

He was your stereotypical sleazy car salesman.

Join PhraseMix Premium or sign in to listen to this lesson and 2,273 others!

your stereotypical (something)

A "stereotype" is a common idea about a group of people. For example, people have stereotypes about different nationalities:

  • Americans are loud.
  • Russians drink a lot of Vodka

...and so on.

People also have stereotypes about certain professions (like police officers and lawyers), different regions (Northereners, Southerners, etc.), races, age groups, and so on. 

When a person follows the stereotypes about a group that they belong to, you can say that they are "stereotypical":

He's a stereotypical teenager: moody, immature, self-absorbed.

You can also use the phraes "your stereotypical ___":

A: What's she like?

B: She's your stereotypical fitness instructor.

This means "she fits the common stereotypes about fitness instructors".

Stereotypes are usually negative, and it's usually not a good thing to admit that you have stereotypes about a group of people.

(someone) is sleazy

A "sleazy" person is someone who is dishonest and untrustworthy.

Here are some examples of people who you might call sleazy:

  • a married man who flirts with other women
  • a politician who accepts money from big businesses
  • a salesman who sells people low-quality products

You can also use "sleazy" to describe places:

We ended up staying in a sleazy motel in a rough-looking part of town.

In this case, "sleazy" means "disgusting".