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Prof. Sat is not popular with/among his students.

Which usage is correct here and why?

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"Popular among" and "popular with" are both correct. In this case, I would suggest "popular with".

"Popular with" is usually used for people, e.g. "Popular with the girls", "Popular with the working class..."

"Popular among" is usually used with ideas among people, eg. "The new policy is not going to popular among the members of the party...."

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I don't know that I buy into the "people vs ideas" distinction. – Jim Mar 13 '12 at 5:04

The phrase "popular with" just generally seems to be more popular with people regardless whether it's the popularity of people or things.

Compare the ngram for "it is popular among" vs "it is popular with":

enter image description here

To that of "he is popular among" vs "he is popular with":

enter image description here

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These Ngrams sure are popular among this community... – J.R. Mar 13 '12 at 9:55
Yes they do seem to be. I would also note that they are quite popular with this community. – Jim Mar 13 '12 at 15:05

According to longman, "popular with" is right. He is popular with friends.

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But does this prove that 'popular among' is incorrect? Your answer has a reference, though, which Bidella's fails to include. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 29 '15 at 15:13
It's a rule, and the rules are to rule. You are free to write whatever you yearn to write. – Rahul Aug 31 '15 at 12:18
(a) What, are you claiming, is a rule here? I could say "According to AHDEL, which gives 'a custom popular among the Greeks', 'popular among' is right. It's a rule." But that would give the impression that 'popular with' probably 'isn't right'. (b) Notice that I gave a link to the actual page containing the quote. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 31 '15 at 12:47

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