Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the slang word for rich but uneducated people, especially those who live in rural areas and always like to show off?

share|improve this question
1  
Con men would call them marks –  Jim Oct 23 '13 at 5:10
    
@Jim They may be 'marks' (stupid, easy tagets) to con men. But that's besides the point. –  Kris Oct 23 '13 at 6:27
    
@Kris- I guess I needed to put a smiley on my comment. ;-) –  Jim Oct 23 '13 at 7:52
    
I immediately thought of "Yuppie" and was surprised to find part of the definition to mean they were "college educated". –  TK-421 Nov 5 at 15:12
    
@TK-421 What? "Yuppie" is short for "young urban professional." Nothing to do with the OP's question. –  dodgethesteamroller Nov 5 at 21:02

4 Answers 4

The more genteel way of describing such people is to employ the French words 'nouveau riche'. At least that is what the educated class in Britain might call them. But if you want a slang term, one might be 'spiv', particularly applied as in 'spiv landlord'. But that has largely gone out of fashion. It is difficult to think of a universal term of any kind which might be used today. To denigrate such people would be seen as politically incorrect, almost tantamount to a form of racism. 'Hillbilly' is rarely used in Britain perhaps because such a social class never really existed. People who have expensive accoutrements, such as cars, but not much substance in education, might be called 'a bit flash'.

share|improve this answer
    
wouldn't 'nouveau riche' refer more specifically to the nature by which they received their wealth and how they seem to wield it? I believe it shares some connotations but doesn't necessarily delve into educational stature. the term seems to mostly imply they did not inherit their wealth –  user54818 Oct 24 '13 at 7:25
1  
@jim It refers to people with newly-acquired wealth, but especially to those of that genre who are perceived as ostentatious or lacking in good taste. (Oxford Dictionary of English) –  WS2 Oct 25 '13 at 19:43

A big city person might call them a "Beverly hillbilly". If they aren't really rich but act like they are I hear "hillbilly rich" used - example is a person with a $40K car and $20K home.

Country folk might say they are "too big for their britches" or "high cotton".

share|improve this answer
    
Will look up some sources for this tomorrow. –  RyeɃreḁd Oct 23 '13 at 5:09
1  
There are rich hillbilly s and poor hillbilly s -- OP wants only the moneyed ones, the show-offs among them actually. :) –  Kris Oct 23 '13 at 6:31

The journalist H.L. Mencken coined booboisie (a combination of boob and bourgeoisie) to characterized the uneducated and uncultured people he believed ran the US in the 1920s. While it is not exactly a well-known word today, I believe the word is evocative enough to make its meaning known in context with little help.

share|improve this answer

Consider Silver-Spoon. From wikipedia (emphasis added):

"The English language expression silver spoon is synonymous with wealth, especially inherited wealth; someone born into a wealthy family is said to have "been born with a silver spoon in his mouth". As an adjective, "silver-spoon" describes someone who has a prosperous background or is of a well-to-do family environment, often with the connotation that the person doesn't appreciate or deserve his or her advantage, it being inherited rather than earned. In Australia the expression "silvertail" is also used, with nearly identical meaning. It has been used in cultural or political situations to describe someone as aristocratic or out of touch with the common people."

While this doesn't necessarily describe the behavior of a show-off, nor imply a lack of education, it can carry that meaning in context. I think the key point here is that it is "inherited rather than earned" -- certainly a condition of an uneducated rich person. And since silver is shiny it can implicate showing-off in the person being described.

share|improve this answer
    
On thing about rich folk here: There tends to be a cultural divide between those who have inherited their wealth vs. those who came into it personally. Among the former, which are the people your answer addresses, maintenance of the existing wealth is a big deal for themselves and future generations. Thus wasting it by "showing off" is seriously looked down upon. –  T.E.D. Nov 5 at 15:54

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.