(chat.uh.RAT.ty) n. The elite members of the chattering classes.

Example Citation:
"While the London chatterati think a Labour landslide is a turn off, the Scottish middle classes are quite willing to participate in inevitable triumphs for the People's Party."
—Alex Bell, "A vote for the middle-class 'struggle'," The Herald, May 14, 2001

Earliest Citation:
On the launch of the Scottish section in October 1988, the chatterati of media and advertising dismissed it as a ''spoiler'' for Scotland on Sunday conveniently ignoring the fact that it had been in the planning stages for months.
—"Newspaper pays price for not observing basic rules," The Sunday Times, July 22, 1990

The chatterati includes members of the media (especially columnists), talk show hosts, TV talking heads, and so on. Although such people have been around for a long time, their particular social niche has only had a name since about 1990. Chatterati combines chattering classes, "the social group consisting of those people who are educated, articulate, and opinionated," and the suffix -rati, "the elite or intelligentsia of a particular group." Chattering classes is a British colloquialism that entered the language in the mid 1980s:

"Despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth among the chattering classes, the outlook for British broadcasting is actually rather cheery."
—"Outlook cheery," The Times, August 11, 1985

Thanks to subscriber Alex Poole for spying today's word.

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