yuppie

Definitions

Slang

  • noun an acronym for ‘young urban professional’ (later also interpreted as ‘young upwardly-mobile professional’) with an added -ie ending in imitation of hippie, yippie, surfie, etc. The word was coined sometime between 1978 and 1980 to denote a new social phenomenon which needed to be distinguished from the existing preppies. The yuppie, originally identifiable in New york City by a uniform of a business suit worn with running shoes, is an ambitious work-oriented materialist, usually highly paid and extremely receptive to consumer fashions. The term quickly became established all over the English-speaking world, epitomising the ‘aspirational’ mood of the 1980s.
  • acronymWASP

Origin & History of “yuppie”

Yuppie is an acronym, formed in the USA from the initial letters of ‘young urban professional’. It came on the scene in 1984, and at first competed with yumpie (formed from ‘young upwardly mobile people’). It was yuppie which won out, and indeed has thrived to such an extent as to produce a whole range of (more or less ephemeral) clones such as buppie ‘black yuppie’, guppie ‘green (ecologically concerned) yuppie’, and Juppie ‘Japanese yuppie’.
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