Bourgeois is .. The meaning and origin of the word

Bourgeois - who is this? This word has a negative or ironic tone. A famous example of its use in literature is the quotation from Vladimir Mayakovsky’s poem “Vladimir Ilyich Lenin”, written in 1924.

In it, advising to eat pineapples and chewing grouse, he warns: "Your last day comes, bourgeois." This expression has become winged over time, and now means a threat to a person who has overdone himself. More information about who this bourgeois will be discussed in the article.

What does the dictionary say?

Ruling class

About what the word "bourgeois" means, the dictionary says the following:

  1. In its outdated, colloquial, ironic or contemptuous meaning, it is a big capitalist or any member of the bourgeoisie. (According to the speaker who spoke to the factory workers, the bourgeois are parasites on the body of the proletariat).
  2. When used in the plural in colloquial and ironic terms - the whole capitalist world, Western countries.(The bourgeoisie has a completely calm attitude towards the 600th Mercedes - they say, a good car, respectable, but far from an icon).
  3. With a pejorative tone in conversation, a bourgeoisie is a rich man. (This bourgeois has so much money that you never dreamed of, but at the same time his greed is limitless).
  4. With a disapproving shade, also in colloquial speech - the individualist. (Our bourgeois society does not suit this, it is well alone with its money).

As can be seen from what has been said in the dictionary, the object we are studying is mainly used in an ironic sense and means a representative of the bourgeoisie. Therefore, having considered the meaning of the word “bourgeois”, in order to better assimilate it, one should turn to the concept of “bourgeoisie”.

We continue to study the dictionary

Representatives of the bourgeoisie, 18th century

The word "bourgeoisie" also has several shades of meaning, consider them:

  1. The political class, consisting of the owners of the means of production, who make a profit mainly due to the use of foreign hired labor. (The history of the development of the bourgeoisie in Italy is very different from its history in England and France).
  2. In a collective sense - the stratum of society, represented by wealthy people.(Music has become the favorite form of recreation and entertainment of the bourgeoisie).

Synonyms and antonyms

Synonyms for the word "bourgeois" are the following:

  • Burzhuin.
  • Bourgeois.
  • Capitalist.
  • The rich.
  • Moneybags.
  • Egoist.

And his antonyms are:

  • Proletarian.
  • Scoop.
  • Collectivist.
  • The poor man

History with etymology

Capitalism began with trade

So, we found out that the bourgeoisie, and in an ironic, contemptuous sense, the bourgeois represent a social class category that includes the dominant class in capitalist society.

It possesses the main property both in its own and in other countries in the form of means of production, money, land resources, mineral deposits, patents, concessions, and other forms of property. There are bourgeois at the expense of income derived from this property, while exploiting wage labor.

In this case, the meaning and origin of the word "bourgeois" are closely interrelated. To trace this relationship, we turn to history. In Europe, in the Middle Ages, people began to be divided into peasants and citizens. In the era of feudalism, the latter began to allocate and oppose the rural population, whose number was much greater.

The townspeople were called bourgeoisie, in French - bourgeois. This word comes from the French bourg, which means "city". This term, like the German Burg, was formed from the Middle-Latvian burgus (fortified city).

In russian language

Bourgeois french fashion

In former times, the word “bourgeoisie” in Russian was often translated as “petty bourgeois”, being a copy of the French bourgeois. The term "philistine" comes from a pan-Slavic place meaning "city." An example of this is how the title of the 17th century French playwright play by Jean-Baptiste Moliere was translated into Russian. In French it looks like “Le bourgeois gentilhomme”, and in Russian, as “The bourgeois in the nobility”.

Thus, the object before us had a slightly different shade of meaning. It was just about one of the social strata, which in the early stages of its development did not play a decisive role in the historical process. And although the word "bourgeois" has not yet become widespread, the term "tradesman" had a certain negative connotation when they wanted to emphasize the narrowness of a person’s views.

With the further development of social relations, when capitalism was already firmly established on the historical scene, the words "bourgeois", "bourgeoisie",The “bourgeoisie” began to correspond not so much a tradesman as an entrepreneur, businessman, exploiter. Next, we will follow how the meaning of the word has changed from a citizen to a businessman, and then to a “bloodsucker”.

Transformation from citizen to exploiter

Bourgeois and on the neck of the peasant

The birth of the bourgeoisie occurred in the depths of feudalism. During its decomposition, representatives of this class became the most well-to-do and most active part of society. Since the bourgeois revolution in the Netherlands, throughout Europe, she is the initiator and active participant in the revolutionary changes that lead to the overthrow of the power of the feudal lords. At this historical stage, by many historians, the role of the bourgeoisie is assessed as the role of the advanced, progressive class.

Initially, capital as a tool that brings added value manifested itself in the trade sphere. At the same time, money capital also developed. The formation of a new class came from those who had the greatest wealth of merchants, shop masters, the village elite, and some feudal elements.

As industry, trade, and navigation developed in the hands of the bourgeoisie, an ever-increasing mass of money capital and wealth concentrated.Its formation as a class is associated with a period called the epoch of primitive accumulation of capital.

Within this process, the expropriation of tools and land from the masses, colonial seizures and looting took place. Thus, conditions were created for the formation of the capitalist mode of production. A mass of hired workers, free and deprived of the means of production, was formed, and capital was concentrated in the hands of the bourgeoisie.

On the basis of the prerequisites created by the initial accumulation of wealth, industry developed, which was the basis for establishing the rule of the bourgeoisie as a class.

From our historical excursion we can conclude that the word “bourgeois” is the ironic name of the bourgeois class representatives who came out of European citizens and became the main exploiting class in society.

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