Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A proletarian: "If there is hope . . . it lies in the proles” ( George Orwell).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A member of the proletariat
  • n. A pleb (ordinary person).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a member of the working class (not necessarily employed)

Etymologies

From proletariat ("working class") by shortening (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • For in Reich's letter as in his book, the choices we face are simplified to "consumer deals" or "citizen values"; and his critics (me, on this occasion) are dismissed as "denigrators" of economic growth, enemies of capitalist globalization who pave the way for nativism: in short, prole-worshipping nostalgics.

    'Supercapitalism': An Exchange

  • Beer was the only drink you could get in prole pubs.

    Nineteen Eighty-Four

  • Once all remaining dignity has been stripped clean away, said prole is suddenly given pounds 2,000 and commanded to buy a new wardrobe, with two provisos – 1) they must follow a set of fashion "rules" handed down by Trinny and Susannah, and 2) their shopping expedition takes place on camera.

    Charlie Brooker's Screen burn: What Not To Wear

  • I'm seriously considering a ban on the use of "prole" on this blog unless the term is used in a discussion of Orwell's 1984.

    You Say That as if it's a Bad Thing

  • In Orwell's novel, the "prole" masses, which make up 85% of the population, do have access to porn.

    Slashdot: Your Rights Online

  • - Is such insight as to why Orwell was drawn to place hope for humanity within 'prole'?

    CounterPunch

  • Anyway -- all the rest regarding the ostensible "prole" nature of solidly middle class Palin is basically bullshit.

    ParaPundit

  • 'prole', yet this priestly caste is obviously unable to agree on matters of interpretation, as seen by the number of schisms arising since the Church's foundation.

    The Watcher: The New Zealand Voice of the Left Hand Path #7

  • Well, that doesn’t make them immune to the petit bourgeois angst of being seen as the wrong kind of prole wrong kind because, of course, not being of the hoi poloi is so declassé these days.

    War of All Against All: Realism vs Fabulism? Er, No…

  • I mean, you'd expect prole (PH) England to have words for different types of rain: drizzle, the har -- the fog, the mist that -- that drifts up the Lincolnshire coastline, etc., etc. So yes.

    A Back-Story to The Man Who Loved China A Coincidence Most Curious and Telling

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Comments

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  • Just don't call them the "comfortably numb" living in "blissful ignorance", and don't mention that "the unexamined life is not worth living"...or politics, or religion, or guns. I would suggest that anyone should read the wonderful and amusing book by Paul Fussel entitled Class: A Guide Through the American Status System. It will make you laugh and cringe, and as Wordies, write down a score or terms to add your lists and personal vocabularies.

    January 18, 2009

  • You could just refer to them as "the rich".

    January 18, 2009

  • Typically, yes. I can't think of any single syllable slang for bourgeois.

    January 18, 2009

  • Colloquial for proletariat?

    January 15, 2009