(DUP.ee) n. A depressed urban professional; a person who once had a high-status or high-paying job and must now work in a menial or lower paying job.

Example Citation:
J. Patrick Lincoln can relate to such work woes. In recent months, the founder and director of Life Transitions career counseling and life coaching in San Antonio has seen plenty of duppies struggle with escalating debts and depression.

"The reality may be that they might have to take on what we call a 'stop-loss job,'" Lincoln says, referring to a lower-paying position the typical duppie once scoffed at.

"You have to survive before you can expand your horizons," Lincoln says. "(Stop-loss jobs) stop the loss of savings or financial reserves, or at least extend what's there so a person can continue to pay the bills."
—Rene A. Guzman, "Overeducated and underemployed," San Antonio Express-News, July 18, 2003

Earliest Citation:
In the dry argot of government statisticians, they're the "underemployed" — people who aren't working as much as they'd like to. But a better name for them might be "Duppies" — depressed urban professionals.

They are people like Maureen Miranda, 27, from Jersey City, N.J., who only two years ago was a bona fide yuppie, earning as much as $65,000 annually at her "regular" job as a Web and software designer. She also regularly charged up to $75 an hour for freelance Web design gigs.

Then the tech bust came and Miranda was laid off in May 2001. She now grabs retail work wherever and whenever she can find it, selling clothes in New Jersey boutiques and chain stores, earning between $7 and $10 an hour.
—Leslie Haggin Geary, "Here come the 'duppies'," CNN/Money, June 17, 2003

This is a play on yuppie (1982) where the young urban professional is now the depressed urban professional thanks to the loss of a great job and the necessity to take on any work to make ends meet. (I love the "stop-loss job" idea in the example citation. I've added this phrase to the Word Spy database.)

In the mid-80s, duppie had a similar meaning but a different (and adjectival) expansion: downwardly mobile, urban, previously professional. Here's the earliest citation I could find for this variation:

Hello there, yuppies. I think I am beginning to recognize you. You are our younger, not much smarter, brothers and sisters. And I have a message for you. If you keep on spending all that money, do you know what you will be 25 years from now? Duppies: Downwardly mobile, urban, previously professional. Like us.
—Annette Henkin Landau, "The yuppies of yesteryear," The New York Times, October 20, 1985

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