Words at Play : Top 10 Words of the '80s

#6: Yuppie

Powered by the bull market of the '80s and a post-Hippie embrace of materialism, yuppie symbolized a new style of consumer.

Merriam-Webster's definition – "a young college-educated adult who is employed in a well-paying profession and who lives and works in or near a large city" – doesn't convey the emotions (envy, scorn, etc.) the label generated.

The term was also a source of amusement.

As Time magazine asked, "Who are all those upwardly mobile folk with designer water, running shoes, pickled parquet floors and $450,000 condos in semislum buildings? Yuppies, of course ..." (January 9, 1984)

Image from The Yuppie Handbook, Long Shadow Books, 1984

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