I listened to a news report and it said she really is of the people when describing the royal wedding news and showing Meghan Markle with crowds of screaming fans. My Korean text book translated the sentence as she is really popular among people. How come of the people means "popular"? What is the exact meaning of of the people?

  • It does not mean "popular". It quite literally means of the people, someone who shares their concerns and beliefs, likely someone who comes from the same background, who is accepted to be one of them. One of the people. Popularity is just a possible byproduct of that. Because of course if you're accepted as the representative of a group, you'll probably be popular with that group.
    – RegDwigнt
    Jun 19, 2018 at 14:14
  • The people consider that 'she's one of us' (I can't think of a good way to avoid this report/quotative conflation), rather than aloof, remote, stuck up, considering herself above the common man. Jun 19, 2018 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


people (n.) etymonline

Meaning "body of persons comprising a community" first recorded late 13c. in Anglo-French; meaning "common people, masses" (as distinguished from the nobility) first recorded c. 1300 in Anglo-French. Meaning "one's own tribe, group, etc." is from late 14c. ... Legal phrase The People vs., in U.S. cases of prosecution under certain laws, dates from 1801.

and macmillan:

[plural] ordinary people who are not members of the government or the upper classes


Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth. - Abraham Lincoln

My sense is not popularity ( as she was not until her path intersected royalty) but is of the common people, of my people, of the proletarians, among us 'bread-eaters'.

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