Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rubesoisie? Who? What?

The Washington Post had this to say about the New Yorker cover:

The cover, like so many self-deprecating, wryly funny, overly self-referential New Yorker covers before it, is just another prism through which New Yorker readers confirm something that is true and easily caricatured at the same time: They are an elite, a minority, and while they might be more educated or sophisticated or adept at the play of humor, they will always be outvoted by Texas. And Kansas. And the rest of the states beyond reach of the A train. The cover says as much about the political influence of Manhattan as it does about the prejudice of the rubesoisie.

Who or what, pray-tell, are the rubesoisie? According to dictionary.com, it's not a word. We can only guess that it's an amalgamation between "rubes" and "bourgeoisie".

Best of all, google only gives THREE hits for this. Damn, talk about being avant-garde, WaPo.

(EDIT: According to google only one another blogger beat us on this find, props).

EDIT #2: Don't get us wrong, we rather like the new word as we think it points to a large, recognizable subset of Americana. People who live in non-urban areas and who are not urbane/sophisticated/well-educated can usually be pejoratively described as "rubes". (Like rednecks or hicks, no?). Yet, in terms of socio-economics rube/hick/redneck tends to point to the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum. What would you - pejoratively - call people who fit the above criteria but are in the middle, upper middle class, upper-class (or, if you like, control the means of production)? Engels, who had a flair for modern, accessible language that Marx did not, might have approved of the neologism . . .

So, we need a word for that, no? Unless anyone has another / can suggest one already in existence?

7 comments:

EddieM said...

Admittedly, I didn't enjoy the article (because of the author's complete lack of knowledge towards satire), but 'rubesoisie' stuck out at me too, although in a different way; I thought it was rather inventive and I'm glad to see that journalists (though not real writers) have at least one creative bone left in their bodies. So get off their backs or the only inventive words they'll produce will be more celebrity-name hodge-podges.

Rule 12 (f) said...

Fair enough. I think we can give credit where it's due for a passable neologism. Lets see if it sticks...

Turk Turon said...

Thanks for the mention.
"Rubesoisie" is a decent neologism.
Much better than "bumpkination", anyway.

Rule 12 (f) said...

NP, and agreed.

Anonymous said...

Newsweek's Andrew Romano reprinted the quote in a piece that he did this week. I'm a journalist/Columnist who writes a lot of satire and I have e-mailed him to ask for a definition.

I too went Googling and your blog was the first to come up.

Great catch. And, I too, like seeing the new word.


Christian Giggenbach

Rule 12 (f) said...

ty Christian.

Anonymous said...

I too like the neologism and hope it sticks. However, no one has yet pointed out that the "rubesoisie" may very well represent the dyed-in-the-wool red staters out there. The staid, working-class, readers who prefer Sports Illustrated to The New Yorker.The opposite of the elite class that the Post writer was working to define. I think rubesoisie is a new application of "bourgeoisie," with the Latin word for "red," which is "ruber" substituted as the root.