Word of the Day

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

hoi polloi

\hoi-puh-LOI\ , noun;
The common people generally; the masses.
Lizzie insisted that her children distinguish themselves from the hoi polloi by scrupulous honesty.
-- Kate Buford, Burt Lancaster: An American Life
The exchange of roles in "The Prince and the Pauper" suggests that a man of the people can be a benevolent ruler because of his humble roots, that a prince can become a better ruler through exposure to hoi polloi.
-- Michiko Kakutani, "In Classic Children's Books, Is a Witch Ever Just a Witch?", New York Times, December 22, 1992
America's cereal queen [Marjorie Merriweather Post, heir to the Post Cereal fortune] had the same problems that the hoi polloi have -- philandering husbands, messy divorces, soggy Grape-Nuts.
-- Maureen Dowd, "Rich Little Rich Girl", New York Times, February 12, 1995
Hoi polloi is Greek for "the many."
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