Friday, June 10, 2011

hoi polloi



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).

(Ulysses and Eumaeus, from Odyssey II, Marc Chagall, 1975)

42 comments:

JayPower said...

i like this word ;D

**Hype.Planet** said...

It sounds funny :)

Z said...

Good Morning Hoi Polloi!
It sounds like funny song name! --Tee hee hee!

Angela Felsted said...

Interesting word. I don't think I've heard it before.

jamiesaur said...

surprised i pronounced it right

Zombie said...

I like the painting! :D

Lemons Don't Make Lemonade said...

this is probably my favorite word ever!

I used that on my dad all through 8th grade
and he NEVER understood it.

WIN.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I first learned this term from a song in a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta -- can't remember which one though. Middle age is hell.

Drake Sigar said...

The unwashed hoi polloi... yep, it has a ring to it.

shari said...

I've heard this word used in a movie... "hoi polloi interlopers" is how they used it, I think. I didn't know what it meant, and wasn't sure how it was spelled, as I'd never read it anywhere. I thought it meant something else. Thanks, E!!

Lydia K said...

I thought it was a Hawaiian word. No joke.

Banacek said...

I knew there was a reason I didn't read Ulysses.

Jack of Diamonds said...

Very interesting!

HiFi said...

Strange word!

Meri said...

Someone I know uses this quite frequently, and it is driving me totally batty trying to figure out who it is. Argh!

Melanie said...

i like it and will be working it into conversation at work tonight.

Pimp Master T said...

Where I'm from, If I tried to work this word into a conversation I would be shot. You know it's hard out here for a pimp!

Solsby Kid said...

Never heard of this one before!

Fang said...

Bwhaha, it sounds hilarious! Makes me wonder why people haven't been using this much.

Natasha said...

Hoi polloi is one of those great words you can just say over and over and it never sounds or feels old. And thanks for commenting, I knew the oceans were needed for co2 to o2 conversion, but I didn't know they produced so much so thanks for that! xxx

Empty said...

interesting blog. interesting word. :)

Duhniel S. said...

Hoi polloi!!
sounds funny

Dejch said...

this word sounds funny

AllenTesch said...

I see this used a lot, believe it or not.

Mercurio said...

that one sounds funny, I like it.

Dave said...

hoi polloi got a lovely ring to it.

Xenototh said...

I am almost afraid to use this word in a non academic setting. People might think there is some new racist word or something.

Nom de Plume said...

My friends are gonna think I am so smrat! :D

A Beer for the Shower said...

Why am I not surprised that Lemons already knew this word? I'm telling you, she's a robot.

I love this word just because of the way it rolls off the tongue. Now get ready to hear me say it constantly until everyone hates it.

bruno said...

Joyce likes odd words...

Patrick said...

I love learning new words.

Finding Cheap Homes said...

Someone could remix this into a song chorus, it addicting just to say!
Love your blog, keep it up!!!

thenitefalls said...

Hoi Polloi sounds like a type of exotic cheese haha

DEZMOND said...

he he a very charming one, E!

Geoffrey said...

I'm glad to hear that I've been pronouncing this correctly all along :)

JayJay said...

I knew this one from a musical but I can't think of the musical at the moment and that's bugging me. Great post.

Ryan said...

SIQ POST BRO!!!!

The Tame Lion said...

Fascinating and interesting!

Rob said...

That is a very interesting word.

Speedy Ed said...

that's a bit of a strange work , but better to know it than to not :)

Intraman said...

interesting, there are quite a number of latin words to designate the vulgus but it's the first time i hear about a greek word for it

Liz Fichera said...

Sounds Hawaiian. I'm definitely going to find a way to use this in a sentence today.

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