hoi polloi, the

hoi polloi, the

The masses. This term, which was Greek for the common people or the crowd, was used by John Dryden in his Essay of Dramatick Poesie (1668). “If by the people,” he wrote, “you understand the multitude, the hoi polloi, ’tis no matter what they think; . . . their judgment is a mere lottery.”
References in periodicals archive ?
He is desperate to stop people, the hoi polloi, the poor, the old and the disabled from starting a civil war.
But the mask slipped when he showed in his Margaret Thatcher lecture the Bullingdon Boy's contempt for what he, as a classical scholar, might call the hoi polloi, the Ancient Greek's term for the Great Unwashed.
He should also know that as much as they might display an empathy with the hoi polloi, the blue bloods and the aristos always confine their friendships to those of the same class.
Rather than mix with the hoi polloi, the stars of culture and business arrive like a deus ex-machina to perform for the plebs below, or to meet those waiting expectantly for them in the conference bubble.