one-percenter

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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.

Noun[edit]

one-percenter (plural one-percenters)

  1. A member of the top one percent of a population by wealth, ability, etc. (same as the ninety-ninth percentile).
    • 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.
  2. (comedy) An esoteric joke which is unlikely to be appreciated by a general audience.
  3. One who seeks or is granted honor far greater than their perceived contribution would warrant.
  4. One who wishes to be recognized for an idea without putting forth the "ninety-nine percent perspiration" needed to implement that idea.
  5. 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.