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Not to be confused with Yippie.

Yuppie (short for "young urban professional" or "young upwardly-mobile professional")[1][2] is a term that refers to a member of the upper middle class or upper class in their 20s or 30s.[3] It first came into use in the early 1980s.


Author and political commentator Victor Davis Hanson has written:

Yuppism... is not definable entirely by income or class. Rather, it is a late-20th century cultural phenomenon of self-absorbed young professionals, earning good pay, enjoying the cultural attractions of sophisticated urban life and thought, and generally out of touch with, indeed antithetical to, most of the challenges and concerns of a far less well-off and more parochial Middle America. For the yuppie male a well-paying job in law, finance, academia or consulting in a cultural hub, hip fashion, cool appearance, studied poise, elite education, proper recreation and fitness and general proximity to liberal-thinking elites, especially of the more rarefied sort in the arts, are the mark of a real man.[4]


Although the term yuppies had not appeared until the early 1980s, there was discussion about young urban professionals as early as 1968.

Critics believe that the demand for "instant executives" has led some young climbers to confuse change with growth. One New York consultant comments, "Many executives in their 20s and 30s have been so busy job-hopping that they've never developed their skills. They're apt to suffer a sudden loss of career impetus and go into a power stall."[5]

Joseph Epstein was credited for coining the term in 1982,[6] although this is contested and it is claimed that the first printed appearance of the word was in a May 1980 Chicago magazine article by Dan Rottenberg.[7] The term gained currency in the United States in 1983 when syndicated newspaper columnist Bob Greene published a story about a business networking group founded in 1982 by the former radical leader Jerry Rubin, formerly of the Youth International Party (whose members were called yippies); Greene said he had heard people at the networking group (which met at Studio 54 to soft classical music) joke that Rubin had "gone from being a yippie to being a yuppie". The headline of Greene's story was From Yippie to Yuppie.[8][9] East Bay Express humorist Alice Kahn claimed to have coined the word in a 1983 column. This claim is disputed.[10][11] The proliferation of the word was affected by the publication of The Yuppie Handbook in January 1983 (a tongue-in-cheek take on The Official Preppy Handbook[12]), followed by Senator Gary Hart's 1984 candidacy as a "yuppie candidate" for President of the United States.[3] The term was then used to describe a political demographic group of socially liberal but fiscally conservative voters favoring his candidacy.[13] Newsweek magazine declared 1984 "The Year of the Yuppie", characterizing the salary range, occupations, and politics of yuppies as "demographically hazy".[3] The alternative acronym yumpie, for young upwardly mobile professional, was also current in the 1980s but failed to catch on.[14]

In a 1985 issue of The Wall Street Journal, Theressa Kersten at SRI International described a "yuppie backlash" by people who fit the demographic profile yet express resentment of the label: "You're talking about a class of people who put off having families so they can make payments on the SAABs ... To be a Yuppie is to be a loathsome undesirable creature". Leo Shapiro, a market researcher in Chicago, responded, "Stereotyping always winds up being derogatory. It doesn't matter whether you are trying to advertise to farmers, Hispanics or Yuppies, no one likes to be neatly lumped into some group".[3]

The word lost most of its political connotations and, particularly after the 1987 stock market crash, gained the negative socio-economic connotations that it sports today. On April 8, 1991, Time magazine proclaimed the death of the yuppie in a mock obituary.[15]

The term has experienced a resurgence in usage during the 2000s and 2010s. In October 2000, David Brooks remarked in a Weekly Standard article that Benjamin Franklin- due to his extreme wealth, cosmopolitanism, and adventurous social life- is "Our Founding Yuppie".[16] A recent article in Details proclaimed "The Return of the Yuppie", stating that "the yuppie of 1986 and the yuppie of 2006 are so similar as to be indistinguishable" and "[h]e’s a shape-shifter... he finds ways to reenter the American psyche."[17] Victor Davis Hanson also recently wrote in National Review very critically of yuppies.[4]

Usage outside of the United States[edit]

A September 2010 article in The Standard described the items on a typical Hong Kong resident's "yuppie wish list" based on a survey of 28 to 35 year olds. About 58% wanted to own their own home, 40% wanted to professionally invest, and 28% wanted to become a boss.[18] A September 2010 article in the New York Times defined as a hallmark of Russian yuppie life adoption of yoga and other elements of Indian culture such as their clothes, food, and furniture.[19]

In Mexico, the term "yupi" is a neologism for high class young people usually from the largest cities and known for having a modern white-collar economy. Yuppification has occurred in economic booming nations of China, India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South Africa in the late 1990s and 2000s.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Algeo, John (1991). Fifty Years Among the New Words: A Dictionary of Neologisms. Cambridge University Press. p. 220. ISBN 0-521-41377-X. 
  2. ^ Childs, Peter; Storry, Mike, eds. (2002). "Acronym Groups". Encyclopedia of Contemporary British Culture. London: Routledge. pp. 2–3. 
  3. ^ a b c d Burnett, John; Alan Bush. "Profiling the Yuppies". Journal of Advertising Research 26 (2): 27–35. ISSN 0021-8499. 
  4. ^ a b Victor Davis Hanson (August 13, 2010). "Obama: Fighting the Yuppie Factor". National Review. Retrieved August 16, 2010. 
  5. ^ Kessler, Felix. "Executive Promotion Path: Fast Track for Young Managers". Management Review 57 (3): 25. ISSN 0025-1895. 
  6. ^ Ayto, John (2006). Movers And Shakers: A Chronology of Words That Shaped Our Age. Oxford University Press. p. 128. ISBN 0-19-861452-7. 
  7. ^ Dan Rottenberg (May 1980). "About that urban renaissance.... there'll be a slight delay". Chicago Magazine. p. 154ff. 
  8. ^ Budd, Leslie; Whimster, Sam (1992). Global Finance and Urban Living: A Study of Metropolitan Change. Routledge. p. 316. ISBN 0-415-07097-X. 
  9. ^ Hadden-Guest, Anthony The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the Night New York:1997--William Morrow Page 116
  10. ^ Clarence Petersen. (1986-03-28). "The Wacky Side Of Chicago-born, Berkeley-bred Alice Kahn - Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  11. ^ Jorge, Trendy (2006-06-21). "Yuppie Living: June 2006". Yuppie-living.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  12. ^ Living: Here Come the Yuppies!, Time, January 9, 1984
  13. ^ Moore, Jonathan (1986). Campaign for President: The Managers Look at '84. Praeger/Greenwood. p. 123. ISBN 0-86569-132-0. 
  14. ^ Here Comes the Yumpies, Time, March 26, 1984
  15. ^ Shapiro, Walter (1991-04-08). "The Birth and -- Maybe -- Death of Yuppiedom". Time. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  16. ^ David Brooks (October 23, 2000). "Our Founding Yuppie". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved August 21, 2010. 
  17. ^ Gordinier, Jeff. "The Return of the Yuppie". Details. Retrieved August 15, 2010. 
  18. ^ Wong, Natalie (September 8, 2010). "Homes, cash top fairy tales on yuppie wish list". The Standard. 
  19. ^ Kishkovsky, Sophia (September 14, 2010). "New York Times". The New York Times. 
  20. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/yuppie-drone-mw0000945663. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  21. ^ http://www.aetv.com/duck-dynasty/video/yuppies-17173986. Retrieved 2013-07-31.
  22. ^ Will Lee (28 April 2000). "Things that Make You Go Hmmm...". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  23. ^ a b R.Z. Sheppard (June 24, 2001). "Yuppie Lit: Publicize or Perish". TIME magazine. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  24. ^ Mary Ellen Mark (August 1996). "Jay Watch". Elle magazine UK. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  25. ^ http://eightiesclub.tripod.com/id434.htm.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ Tom Brook (5 November 1999). "Showdown at the Fight Club". BBC. Retrieved 2007-04-28. [dead link]
  27. ^ Girl with Curious Hair at Amazon.com
  28. ^ American Psycho: a double portrait of serial yuppie Patrick Bateman
  29. ^ Amazon.com: American Psycho
  30. ^ Arizona Daily Wildcat: 'American Psycho' ties yuppie greed to serial killing
  31. ^ George Mason University: Into the Wilds of an American Psycho's Identity: Parallels between Into the Wild & American Psycho
  32. ^ Filmmaker Magazine: "Die Yuppie Scum!"
  33. ^ Goddard College Pitkin Review: "The Pen is Mightier: Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho"
  34. ^ Entertainment Weekly: Book News: "American Psychodrama"
  35. ^ Patricia Hersch (October 1988). "thirtysomethingtherapy: the hit TV show may be filled with "yuppie angst," but therapists are using it to help people". Psychology Today. Archived from the original on 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  36. ^ Rodriguez, Gregory (2008-02-25). "White like us". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  37. ^ "Wall Street Review". Channel 4 (UK). 
  38. ^ "imdb "Yuppy Love" episode profile". imdb (UK). 
  39. ^ "imdb=Christmas Vacation". 
  40. ^ Gallagher, Brian (2005). Inside Fair City. Page 149. Rooney Media Graphics.
  41. ^ Ayto 2006, p. 225.
  42. ^ The American Heritage Abbreviations Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Reference Books. 2002. p. 89. ISBN 0-618-24952-4. 
  43. ^ Dale, Rodney; Puttick, Steve. Wordsworth Dictionary of Abbreviations & Acronyms. p. 44. ISBN 1-85326-385-0. 
  44. ^ Merriam-Webster (1991). The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories. p. 141. ISBN 0-87779-603-3. 
  45. ^ Tom VanRiper. “Going Green Cuts Profits”. The New York Daily News, 2005-4-22. Retrieved on 2008-11-11
  46. ^ "The Scuppie Handbook™". Scuppie.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  47. ^ [1]
  48. ^ http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/saopaulo/1078798-tipicamente-paulistana-giria-coxinha-tem-origem-controversa.shtml
  49. ^ John W. Leigh, Moving Towards New Forms of Social Success, Southern Illinois UNiversity, 2008
  50. ^ Meiskins, Peter; Whalley, Peter (2202). Putting Work in Its Place: a Quiet Revolution. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-8952-5.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  51. ^ Algeo 1991, p. 228.
  52. ^ Packhard, Randall M. (2004). Emerging Illnesses and Society: Negotiating the Public Health Agenda. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 156. ISBN 0-8018-7942-6. 

Further reading[edit]

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