yuppify was our Word of the Day on 03/02/2012. Hear the podcast!
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Yuppie and "yuppify" are products of the 1980s, but they owe a debt to predecessors from the 1960s and 1970s. "Hippie" (a long-haired unconventionally dressed young person who rejects societal mores; from hip, meaning "cool") first appeared in print in 1953. "Yippie" (a politically active hippie; from Youth International Party) followed "hippie" into the language in 1968. "Gentrification" and "gentrify" (referring to the effects of influxes of relatively affluent people into deteriorating neighborhoods; from "gentry") made their debuts in 1964 and 1972, respectively. "Yuppie" (a young well-paid professional who lives and works in or near an urban area; probably from young urban professional; influenced by "hippie" and "yippie") hit the press in 1981. "Yuppify" and "yuppification" (patterned after "gentrify" and "gentrification") joined the lexicon in 1984.
First Known Use of yuppify
YUPPIFY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of yuppify for English Language Learners
: to change (a city, neighborhood, etc.) so that it is more appealing to young people who make a lot of money : to make (something) appealing to yuppies
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