great unwashed

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A contemptuous term for the populace, particularly the working class.

Etymology:

  • Attributed by many to Edmund Burke, the first published use of the phrase was by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in a dedicatory epistle for 1830, Paul Clifford.
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Submitted on September 01, 2009

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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to great unwashed

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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"great unwashed." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 26 May 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/great-unwashed_4195>.

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