the great unwashed


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the great unwashed

The general public, especially those of the lower and lower-middle classes. Critics are hailing the film as a modern masterpiece, though it doesn't seem to be causing too great a stir among the great unwashed The world of the super rich is one that we among the great unwashed can't even begin to understand.
See also: great, unwashed

the great unwashed

Fig. the general public; the lower middle class. The Simpsons had a tall iron fence around their mansion—put there to discourage the great unwashed from wandering up to the door by mistake, I suppose. Maw says the great unwashed don't know enough to come in out of the rain.
See also: great, unwashed

the great unwashed

People use the great unwashed to mean poor or ordinary people. A man quickly led the Queen's husband away from the great unwashed. Note: This expression is used humorously.
See also: great, unwashed

the great unwashed

n. most of the common people; the hoi polloi. I usually find myself more in agreement with the great unwashed than with the elite.
See also: great, unwashed

great unwashed, the

The working classes. The term showed up in print in the early nineteenth century in Theodore Hook’s The Parson’s Daughter (1833), where it appears in quotation marks. Exactly who first coined the phrase is not known, but in Britain it was used to describe the rabble of the French Revolution who rose up against the privileged classes. Although Eric Partridge said that its snobbishness had made it obsolescent by the 1940s, it is still used ironically.
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Great Unwashed

A disparaging term for the common man. The phrase first appeared in an 1830 novel, Paul Clifford, by the British novelist and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton: “He is certainly a man who bathes and ‘lives cleanly,' (two especial charges preferred against him by Messrs. the Great Unwashed).” Among other cynics (although they would call themselves realists) who used the phrase was H. L. Mencken, who also referred to the majority of Americans as the “booboisie.”
See also: great, unwashed
References in periodicals archive ?
This is an emotive portrayal of the great unwashed, the multitudes that form the very core of India and yet find mainstream representation only through their extremes.
"He was a beatnik when he joined - one of the great unwashed.
One other set of players in this drama is the wealthy north Casey Key residents who cynics say won't ever let the pass be reopened because that would also reopen their neighborhood to the great unwashed. And since those landowners have hired high-powered attorney Brenda Patten to apparently dump legal sand in the gears of any efforts to start digging, those cynics could be right.
Terrorism raises the possibility that to get their Cipro or smallpox shots, Quinn and Dowd would have to fight their neighbors along with the great unwashed likely to be piled up already at the local emergency room--an unpalatable situation for anyone, but especially for those accustomed to being above the fray.
It's a vestige of patrician politics, the old, elitist view that the great unwashed masses are not to be fully trusted.
The assumption grew - it is expressed in the novels of Zola - that rankness was the sign of the great unwashed; smell became associated with defective individuals and so-called inferior races.
Usually, you get sneering phrases like "the great unwashed" and sage pronouncements about how "stupid people shouldn't be allowed to breed" and we should "think of it as evolution in action." Have you heard this before?
Yesterday's showdown with Maxwell took place after Hughes returned from a family holiday in Italy - where he has been since Record Sport first revealed he was fighting for his position after referring to the Ibrox club's supporters as "the great unwashed".
Dishing the dirt on the great unwashed HAS anyone else noticed, that fewer and fewer people wash their hands after using the toilets?
Snow White opens with plenty of 'Oh yes I ams' from Su Pollard's Wicked Queen, who goes on to insult everyone from the musicians to the audience, branded 'the great unwashed'.
Some of the Great Unwashed I've seen at the polished counter would probably wolf down dead dog garnished with baked beans, so why not give them a McMutt quarter-pounder?
We will leave the middle classes to do Glastonbury and the rest of the great unwashed will decamp to Knebworth and drink lots of beer and have fun"- Bruce Dickinson, (pictured) lead singer of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden gets snooty about pop festivals.
I can assure them one doesn't experience such problems at the Waitrose store in Barry where, it seems to me, the great unwashed can enjoy their free coffee while at the same time serenely contemplating the spiritual aspects of life, as suggested by Her Majesty.
So, Mr Cameron, instead of strutting the international stage gifting countless millions of pounds to the great unwashed, how about making jubilee clip production a priority?
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