Abbreviation for proletarian (from the Latin proletarius, "a citizen of the lowest class"), a member of the proletariat. Known historic usages of this word include by George Bernard Shaw on October 21, 1887 in his letters, published in 1965 as Collected Letters ("We call the working men proles because that is exactly what they are."), in George Orwell's Coming up for Air in 1939 ("There's a lot of rot talked about the sufferings of the working class. I'm not so sorry for the proles myself."), in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake in 1939 ("The doubles of Perkin and Paullock, peer and prole"), and in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1949 ("The dumb masses whom we habitually refer to as 'the proles', numbering perhaps 85 per cent of the population").

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