Hoi Polloi

eggs

#1

Always sounds wrong to me, sounds like it should mean the elite (whatever that means, old money I suppose).

We had this thread on the old boards but I don’t think it went especially well. Let’s see what happens this time.

Last time I began it with annexe, sounds like it should mean jettisoning or cutting off.


#2

fauna


#3

Also I think desert and dessert should be spelt the other way round.


#4

Is your reasoning for this that you currently always get them the wrong way round?


#5

Do you think it should me flora?


#6

Yes. But I’m sure other people do too.


#7

I just think it should be a word that sounds a bit more animal-y


#8

It could easily - this distinction is basically arbitrary, and if there is a reason for it it’s been lost to time!


#9

Yeah, and probably loads that aren’t even aware of their mistake. At least you’re aware of it and wish to make both yourself and the world a better place for it.


#10

Hoi polloi sort of chimes in my mind with hoity-toity, so I see where you’re coming from with that one!


#11

jai alai


#12

Matt Berry uses it that way in ‘Matt Berry Does the Boat Race’ and it really gets me chuckling:


#13

wait that isn’t what it means


#14

I’m not sure what you mean.


#15

I know he’s not everyone’s favourite person but I watched some episodes of Toast the other night and :smiley:


#16

It’s the same word as poly.

Would it blow your mind if I told you that any point after about Alexander the Great, it was (and is in Greece), pronounced “i polli”.


#17

Etymology makes it all clear.

I don’t know if I would say that fact blew mind mind, that might be a bit strong but it certainly is interesting.


#18

Do you know of any good books on language, something like those “popular science” books but for language?


#19

‘οι = masculine plural the. Pronounced “hoi” in Socrates’ time (5th century BC), “i” like Italian after that. They just never changed the spelling, because it keeps the grammar clear.
πολλοι = plural masculine version of πολύς/πολλή/πολύ- many, lots, big, much, a lot.

Greek for Happy Birthday is χρόνια πολλά. Lots of years.


#20

Tbh I have no idea. It’s what I studied at university.