One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The common people; the masses.‘the haughty contempt of a grandee sneering at the canaille’
rabble, scum, vermin, dregs, good-for-nothings, lowest of the low, underclass, the dregs, untouchables, the hoi polloiView synonyms
- ‘Brummell did the reverse, reinforcing exclusivism in the coming age of industry, teaching the upper classes to rely on cut to distinguish themselves from the canaille.’
- ‘The tradition of Richelieu has today been inherited by a republican canaille that is wholly lacking the finesse of the ancien régime.’
- ‘Lombroso's work was translated into French in 1887 and won the praise of Hippolyte Taine, who thought that the French Revolution was caused by a debauched and degenerate canaille.’
- ‘All social institutions have been adapted to suit the prejudices of a canaille debased beyond any degeneracy that our forefathers could have imagined.’
- ‘Of course, a separate competition will have to be mounted for politicians, who cannot fairly be allowed to tilt with common canaille.’
French, from Italian canaglia ‘pack of dogs’, from cane ‘dog’.
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