Definition of folk devil in English:

folk devil


  • A person or thing held to be a bad influence on society.

    ‘the strikers had been identified and pilloried as the new folk devils’
    • ‘Its subject was the eponymous; the baseball capped, Burberry clad, gold jewellery bedecked folk devils that walk down every high street in Britain.’
    • ‘This would be thinking about folk devils as some way equivalent to Agamben's conception of homo sacer.’
    • ‘She says, ‘The goal of the moral panic is then to identify, restrain, and punish those folk devils.’’
    • ‘And the Jersey driver remains a prominent folk devil all over the Northeast: bumptious, heedless, hostile and barely competent.’
    • ‘Yet when we think of child abuse, folk devils like them jump to the fore.’
    • ‘The second involved a perhaps more familiar press folk devil - a girl of 12 becoming pregnant and deciding to keep the baby.’
    • ‘Thus last year's folk devil becomes next year's pantomime dame.’
    • ‘But this ‘conservative’ genre has consistently explored social mores, popular concerns and contemporary folk devils.’