the hoi polloi

The common people, as distinct from those of the upper class. The term literally means "the many" in Greek and has a derogatory connotation. Now that she's rich and famous, she doesn't want to associate with the hoi polloi anymore. This is a gala for New York's upper crust—what makes you think they'll let the hoi polloi like us in?
See also: hoi, polloi
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.”
See also: hoi
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
References in classic literature ?
Thus, you shall stand on the aristocratic side of a room filled with company, and every thing will present a vulgar and democratic appearance; or, vice versa, you shall occupy a place among the oi polloi, and all is aristocratic, exclusive, and offensive.
{magasin = shop; ex-officio = by virtue of his position--Cooper frequently criticized American diplomats for taking on the conservative views of the monarchial governments to which they were accredited; oi polloi = common people, rabble (Greek); de Tocqueville = Alexis de Tocqueville = French writer (1805-1859), famous for his account of American culture, "Democracy in America" (1835 and 1840)--Cooper had provided Tocqueville with letters of introduction for his 1832 American visit, but resented the extreme admiration accorded his book}
From there we had a great view of the hoi polloi making their way from the station to the castle with some knowing how to connect with onlookers.
While addressing a presser, Sheikh said 'we will take difficult decisions,' adding that measures will be taken to protect the hoi polloi.
LAHORE -- Punjab chief minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has taken notice of action against the hoi polloi during the campaign against encroachments and land grabbers and issued directions to the concerned authorities that segments like street vendors and laborers should not be disturbed.
The problem was also in the unequal application of the law and discrimination between the poor petty hoi polloi and the rich powerful lord.
Caption: Hoi Polloi Winery partners Doug Minnick (left) and Ted Behlendorf take a break for some wine.
Hungry for acceptance by the hoi polloi, Barnum aligns himself with world famous operatic diva Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson) and temporarily abandons the circus to go on tour with the Swedish songbird.
Shameless Transport Minister John Hayes MP was trying to blag his way past the hoi polloi - but didn't get very far.
In those distant days, those unwilling to mix with the hoi polloi on an omnibus could make the journey to hospital, if they could afford the fare, in a hansom cab.
Last December, Hoi Polloi, a small streetside coffee shop-cum-bar, located within 200 metres of the Ledra Street crossing, opened under the affable proprietorship of filmmaker and journalist Simon Bahceli.
Would getting too close the hoi polloi be bad for her health?
3 What was the name of the programme in which our hero 'is now in his thirties and living in London, where he works as an offal chef in a trendy Soho restaurant, Hoi Polloi. Divorced from a Nigerian wife, he has a five-year-old son, William.'?