upper crust, the

the upper crust

The most affluent, powerful, or influential class in a society; the social elites or aristocrats. The awards ceremony was a chance for me to mingle with the upper crust. For years, tax laws have been specifically designed to favor the upper crust before the working or lower class.
See also: crust, upper

upper crust

Fig. the higher levels of society; the upper class. (From the top, as opposed to the bottom, crust of a pie.) Jane speaks like that because she pretends to be from the upper crust, but her father was a miner. James is from the upper crust, but he is penniless.
See also: crust, upper

upper crust

The highest social class, as in She wanted badly to be one of the upper crust but it wasn't going to happen. This term alludes to the choicest part of a pie or loaf of bread. [First half of 1800s]
See also: crust, upper

the upper crust

The upper crust are the people who belong to the highest social class. The Cowes Regatta is a gathering of the wealthy and the upper crust who race their huge yachts and attend grand parties.
See also: crust, upper

the upper crust

the aristocracy and upper classes. informal
In Anne Elizabeth Baker 's Glossary of Northamptonshire Words and Phrases ( 1854 ) ‘Mrs Upper Crust’ is explained as the nickname for ‘any female who assumes unauthorized superiority’. The term was also current in informal American speech in the mid 19th century. The French word gratin has a similar pair of literal and metaphorical senses, being literally ‘a crust of crumbs and cheese on top of a cooked dish’ and metaphorically ‘the highest class of society’.
See also: crust, upper

the ˌupper ˈcrust

(informal) people who are in the highest social classIn the past, the top or upper crust of a loaf of bread was the best part, which the more important members of the household ate.
See also: crust, upper

upper crust, the

An older name for high society. This term appears to have been coined by Thomas Haliburton in his Sam Slick tales. “It was none of your skim-milk parties, but superfine uppercrust,” he wrote (The Clockmaker, 1835). By 1850 others were using the term, which alluded to the choicest part of a pie or loaf of bread. “Those families, you know, are our upper crust, not upper ten thousand” wrote James Fenimore Cooper (Ways of the Hour, 1850). The term is heard less often nowadays but is not quite obsolete.
See also: upper

upper crust

The top level of society. Although you might think that “crust” refers to bread and that the upper part was reserved for the aristocracy, word detectives would say you're wrong: no authoritative written connection between bread and the well-bred can be found. “Crust” refers to the earth's crust, or top layer. The upper crust of a society is its top layer.
See also: crust, upper
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