one + percent + -er. After Thomas Edison: "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." The motorcycling sense comes from a supposed 1948 statement by the American Motorcycle Association that ninety-nine percent of motorcyclists are good people enjoying a clean sport, and it is only one percent who are antisocial barbarians.
one-percenter (plural one-percenters)
- A member of the top one percent of a population by wealth, ability, etc. (same as the ninety-ninth percentile), especially in a society with high wealth inequality.
- 2000, E. Ray Canterbery, Wall Street Capitalism: The Theory of the Bondholding Class, page 138:
- An upper one-percenter in the income and wealth distributions, Rubin commuted by private jet between the tony Jefferson Hotel in Washington and his Park home in New York.
- 2002, Bill Press, Spin This!: All the Ways We Don't Tell the Truth, page 17:
- When critics pointer out that the bulk of his tax cut went to the wealthiest one percent of American […] , after Bush got finished spinning, it's amazing how many Americans ended up feeling sorry for those poor, deprived one percenters.
- 2004, George Black, The Trout Pool Paradox: The American Lives of Three Rivers, page 204:
- "But a few survive, those with the right genetic trait, the one-percenters that will carry on and reproduce that trait."
- 2006, David Weber, In Fury Born:
- [Y]ou've been one of the "one-percenters." You've always been in that rarefied top one percent of the people doing whatever you were doing at any given moment in your life.
- 2018, Oliver Bullough, quoting Bradley Birkenfeld, chapter 17, in Moneyland, Profile Books, →ISBN, page 243:
- I'd perfected my game, flying first-class all over the world, staying in five-star resort hotels, and seducing scores of one-percenters into stashing their fortunes in Swiss numbered accounts, no questions asked.
- (comedy) An esoteric joke which is unlikely to be appreciated by a general audience.
- One who seeks or is granted honor far greater than their perceived contribution would warrant.
- One who wishes to be recognized for an idea without putting forth the "ninety-nine percent perspiration" needed to implement that idea.
- An outlaw biker, such as a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club.
- 1991, Daniel R. Wolf, The Rebels: A Brotherhood of Outlaw Bikers, page 272:
- The patch holders themselves recognize that within the framework of the club there exists a radical faction - "the heavies" or "one percenters".
- 2002, Chuck Zito, Street Justice, page 106:
- It was Sonny's idea to ally the various clubs under a diamond-shaped "one-percenter" patch. He took it a step further by becoming the first Hells Angel to have the famous "one-percenter" drawn on his arm.
- 2004, Karen Larsen, Breaking the Limit: One Woman's Motorcycle Journey Through North America, page 271:
- There is, without a doubt, the "one-percenter" subculture consisting of individuals who are social renegades in the criminal sense.