The first example of the word in a sentence is pretty unremarkable…
James Nichols, who ran the family farm here, stamped dollar bills with red ink in protest against currency and told his neighbors that they were “sheeple” for obeying authority like livestock. — Sara Rimer and James Bennet…but then there's this:
Apple's debuted a battery case for the juice-sucking iPhone—an ungainly lumpy case the sheeple will happily shell out $99 for. — Doug CrissMerriam-Webster, which dates back to 1843, says the first usage of the word "sheeple" was in 1945, long before the advent of the Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Apple as a company altogether. For what it's worth, the word's popularity apparently falls within the bottom 10 percent of its dictionary.
Wake up!— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) April 27, 2017
'Sheeple' is in the dictionary now. https://t.co/pbXVADEoBm
Sadly, this is not the Onion.