Cultural Watch

Word of the Day – hoi polloi


Hoi Pollio \ HOI puh-LOI\ plural noun


the common people; the masses (often preceded by the)


These regions varied from establishment to establishment, but two features were fairly unwavering: that the VIPs be kept separate from the hoi polloi, and that the hoi polloibe able to see them.
— Jennifer Egan, Look at Me, 2001


Hoi polloi is borrowed from Greek, where it translates literally as “the many.” It entered English in the early 1800s.

Source: polloi |