Is there any single word to describe, as the title says, tacky rich/trashy wealthy people?

The word nouveau riche describes this pretty nicely, while ODE lists the following as synonyms:

the new rich;

parvenus, arrivistes, upstarts, social climbers, vulgarians.

nouveau riche does describe what I'm looking for pretty nicely but it's not something I've ever heard used and the synonyms don't exacty describe this properly.

Any ideas?

Edit: maybe new money is the term I'm looking for...

  • New money is definitely the term you're looking for. – ElendilTheTall Jul 21 '14 at 7:07
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    Nouveau riche and new money do not necessarily imply that the people in question are tacky or trashy; not does the description of what you're after seemingly imply that the tacky/trashy rich people have only recently gained their wealth. I would probably called them the Paris Hiltons of the world, but I doubt you'll find a dictionary that has this. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 21 '14 at 7:35
  • nouveau riche is defined in ODE as: people who have recently acquired wealth, typically those perceived as ostentatious or lacking in good taste, which kind of does have the meaning I was looking for – Mou某 Jul 21 '14 at 8:01
  • "Nouveau riche" is French for "new money." And decades ago, there was an American TV show, the "Beverly (new-rich) Hillbillies" about this phenomenon. – Tom Au Jul 21 '14 at 18:56
  • For additional suggestions, see the near duplicate question Word to describe person who is rich in wealth but is poor in class. That question was asked 20 months after this one, but seems to have resonated with readers because it arose during the very unusual U.S. presidential primaries campaign of 2016. – Sven Yargs Mar 26 '16 at 18:25

A number of terms (all of which, I admit, are mentioned in the OP's question) may be on point. Interestingly the first three listed below are drawn from French:

parvenu: one that has recently or suddenly risen to an unaccustomed position of wealth or power and has not yet gained the prestige, dignity, or manner associated with it.

arriviste: one that is a new and uncertain arrival (as in social position or artistic endeavor)

nouveau riche: a person newly rich: PARVENU

vulgarian: a vulgar person, where vulgar may mean "lacking in cultivation, perception, or taste"

All definitions are from Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003).

The predominant characteristic of a parvenu/ariviste/nouveau riche/vulgarian may variously be described as a taste for ostentation, flashiness, gaudiness, or conspicuous consumption.


In British English, such a person would be referred to as a Chav.

The word is not a perfect fit for your requirements as it is applied, not just to someone with money, but also to someone who tries to give the appearance of having money.

A chav is always tacky and ostentatious. The word is always used in a derogatory sense.

  • very Vicky Pollard – Mou某 Jul 21 '14 at 14:06

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