One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A man who has recently risen from insignificance to a position of importance or higher social standing.
Late 16th century. From classical Latin novus homō, lit. ‘new man’ from novus + homō man. Originally used in the Rome of the late Republic (and possibly earlier) of the first man in a family to enter the senate, or the first man of senatorial family to reach the consulship, or more especially (and most frequently) of a man from a non-senatorial family who reached the consulship.
novus homo/ˌnəʊvəs ˈhəʊməʊ//ˌnəʊvəs ˈhɒməʊ/
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