hoi polloi [ˈhɔɪ pəˈlɔɪ] n.
1.) The majority; the masses. Also formerly in Univ. slang, candidates for a pass degree. In English use normally preceded by the definite article even though hoi means ‘the’ (Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Ed.).
Etymology: Greek οἱ πολλοί, the many: hoi, nominative pl. of ho, the; + polloi, nominative pl. of polus, many.
"The hoi polloi of jarvies or stevedores or whatever they were after a cursory examination turned their eyes apparently dissatisfied, away though one redbearded bibulous individual portion of whose hair was greyish, a sailor probably, still stared for some appreciable time before transferring his rapt attention to the floor" (Ulysses, James Joyce, 1922).