arriviste / arrivist

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arriviste / arrivist

Post by Ken Greenwald » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:05 pm

<2018 “That the dinosaur wars drew in scientists from multiple disciplines only added to the bad blood. Paleontologists resented arriviste physicists, like Alvarez for ignoring their data. Physicists figured the stamp collectors [[derogatory expression for paleontologists]] were just bitter because they hadn’t cracked the mystery themselves.”—The Atlantic, September, page 48>
Hmm! Never heard this one before, at least according to my splotchy memory. (>:)

Oxford English Dictionary

arriviste / arrivist noun and adjective

Chiefly depreciative

A) noun: A person who is ambitious or who persistently strives to advance his or her position, social status, etc., especially to an extent considered ruthless or unscrupulous; specifically One who has recently or rapidly advanced to a social group for which he or she is considered unfit or unworthy.

B) adjective: That is an arriviste; resembling or characteristic of an arriviste. Also in extended use.

Origin: A borrowing from French. Etymon: French arriviste.

Etymology: from French arriviste (1895 or earlier as noun, 1900 or earlier as adjective) <arriver arrive verb + -iste -ist suffix.

Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary

noun: One who employs any means however questionable or unscrupulous to achieve success : an aggressive pushing person : parvenu, upstart, nouveau riche. <An impoverished family of high breeding and training sneers self-consolingly at vulgar arrivistes.>

adjective: <It was a hard slog, even for a well-connected millionaire. The NFL was not interested in arriviste owners with big ideas.Boston Globe (Massachusetts), 30 August, 2009>

The following quotes are from the Oxford English Dictionary and archived sources:
<1895 “That unpleasant person, the arriviste, who really ‘arrives’ at so very little, is pungently drawn.”—Chap-book, 1 July, page 129/2>

<1900 “The ‘arrivist’ is the young man, apparently, who must get on at all costs.”—Review of Reviews, January, page 161/1>

<1916 “Political enemies used to call Briand an ‘arrivist.’”—Everybody’s Magazine, May, page 580>

<1925 “He was an arriviste—an arriviste naked and unashamed.”—Contemporary Review, August, page 174>

<1959 “He was a go-getter, an arriviste, . . . a bull charging at competitive life.”— Murmurs in Rue Morgue by M. Cumberland, vii. page 48>

<2001 “This image of the unscrupulous arrivist suggests that global capitalism is simply the modern avatar of the age old propensity of human beings to exploit each other.”—Building World Community by J. Baudot, iv. page 108>

<2005 “Some will see it as a sign that after years of ill-mannered partying, she is at last growing up. Others will dismiss it as the gesture of an arriviste with airs above her station.”—Daily Mail (London), 8 March>

<2009 “Gatsby felt pressure to hide his status as an arriviste.”—The Atlantic Monthly, January, page 49/1>

<2012 “Mrs Simpson was, you will recall, an American adventuress who, after relocating to the UK, was pilloried as a vulgar arriviste.”—The Irish Times (Dublin, Ireland), 20 January>

<2018 “I step into Whole Foods and feel like a traitor. A wealthy traitor. An arriviste who doesn't need a budget. I can almost hear my Nana hissing in my ear: ‘Whole Foods? You must be very rich.’”—The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts), 22 August>

Ken Greenwald — September 19, 2018

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