boob·​oi·​sie ˌbüb-ˌwä-ˈzē How to pronounce booboisie (audio)
: the general public regarded as consisting of boobs

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Journalist and critic H. L. Mencken is often credited with coining booboisie, a blend of boob, as it refers to someone who cares too much about things and too little about ideas and art, and bourgeoisie, that French-origin term for the middle class. Mencken may have indeed coined the word, but it seems likely that he wasn't the word's only inventor. According to the 2006 Yale Book of Quotations, Mencken was quoted using booboisie in an August 1922 issue of The Dial before it appeared in any of his writings. But a February 22, 1922 Washington Post article opens with the following line: "A plot to mulct the 'booboisie' which might have been invented by an author of get-rich-quick fiction …." The booboisie, of course, couldn't care less.

Word History


blend of boob entry 1 and bourgeoisie

First Known Use

1921, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of booboisie was in 1921


Dictionary Entries Near booboisie

Cite this Entry

“Booboisie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

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