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Man in the street   /mæn ɪn ðə strit/   Listen
Man in the street

noun
1.
A hypothetical average man.  Synonyms: Joe Bloggs, Joe Blow, John Doe.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Man in the street" Quotes from Famous Books



... the only man in the Street, sir," declared young Bristoll one morning, in a burst of admiration, as he and his chief sat together over their coffee, "to whom J.J. Malone seems willing to grant an ...
— Destiny • Charles Neville Buck

... was not all joy—the tightness of old scar-tissue in the chest.... The countryman came running to us from the still standing car, though this was not his destination, and pointing to a little grey man in the street, said: ...
— Child and Country - A Book of the Younger Generation • Will Levington Comfort

... to Rome. He did not want to be a "dictator." He would be entirely satisfied with the title of "the Honourable." But when the Senate, a few years later, addressed him as Augustus—the Illustrious—he did not object and a few years later the man in the street called him Caesar, or Kaiser, while the soldiers, accustomed to regard Octavian as their Commander-in-chief referred to him as the Chief, the Imperator or Emperor. The Republic had become an Empire, but the average Roman was hardly ...
— The Story of Mankind • Hendrik van Loon

... from Moscow. They always told me a republic was in the air—young talents and energy must come to the front—the people must have a voice in the government. I think the average Frenchman is intelligent, but I don't think the vote of the man in the street can have as much value as that of a man who has had not only a good education but who has been accustomed always to hear certain principles of law and order held up as rules for the guidance of his own life as well as other people's. Certainly ...
— My First Years As A Frenchwoman, 1876-1879 • Mary King Waddington

... and instantly you realize that the genius who coined it has hit on a happy and a graphic and an illuminating expression; that at one bound he rose triumphant above the limitations of the language and tremendously enriched the working vocabulary of the man in the street. Whereas an Englishman's idea of slinging slang is to scoop up at random some inoffensive and well-meaning word that never did him any harm and apply it in the place of some other word, to which the first word is not related, even by marriage. ...
— Europe Revised • Irvin S. Cobb

... high family, was very poor, and men said it was by the fault of his cousin Kallias, the "Enriched by the Well;" and Themistocles contrived to turn people's minds against him, so as to have him ostracised. One day he met a man in the street, with a shell in his hand, who asked him to write the name of Aristides on it, as he could not write himself. "Pray," said Aristides, "what harm has this person done you, that you wish to ...
— Aunt Charlotte's Stories of Greek History • Charlotte M. Yonge

... home. We should be moderate and uniform in everything, in our charities as in all else; too great liberality attracts beggars instead of helping them on their way. At the same time there is no harm when one is on a journey, or passing through a strange place, in appearing to a poor man in the street in the form of a chance deity of fortune and making him some present which shall surprise him. The position of the village and of the castle makes it easy for us to put our charities here on a proper footing. I have thought about it before. The ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. II • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... heads of the general public and appeals mainly to musicians. But the greatest men do not go over the heads of the masses, they take them rather by the hand. The true musician would not snub so much as a musical critic. His instinct is towards the man in the street rather than the Academy. Perhaps I say this as being myself a man in the street musically. I do not know, but I know that Bach does not appeal to me and that I do appeal from Bach to the man in the street and not to the Academy, because ...
— The Note-Books of Samuel Butler • Samuel Butler

... incognita, and that fact alone robbed her progress of a sense of excitement. She had to do without the shout of the multitude—the passing admiration of the man in the street. She knew that she was yet many hours removed from Madrid, where she had admirers, and the next best possession—enemies. Ciudad Real was intolerably dull and provincial. A servant knocked at ...
— In Kedar's Tents • Henry Seton Merriman

... man then know his worth, and keep things under his feet. Let him not peep or steal, or skulk up and down with the air of a charity-boy, a bastard, or an interloper, in the world which exists for him. But the man in the street, finding no worth in himself which corresponds to the force which built a tower or sculptured a marble god, feels poor when he looks on these. To him a palace, a statue, a costly book, have an alien and forbidding air, much like a gay equipage, and seem to say like that, "Who are ...
— Essays • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... holes in the bulkheads. Not that I hadn't had time to get used to the treatment; every man in my corps gets a full dose of awe and respect from the services, from Government officials and even from the United Cabinets. The only reason we don't get it from the man in the street is that the man in the street—unless he happens to be a very special man in a very unusual street—doesn't know the corps exists. Which is a definite relief, by the way; at least, off the job, I'm no more than Ephraim ...
— The Man Who Played to Lose • Laurence Mark Janifer

... CALLWELL has, in The Dardanelles (CONSTABLE), added a volume to a series called Campaigns and Their Lessons, it is clear that he is writing mainly for military students, but none the less at least one man in the street—meaning myself—has been glad, after reading plenty of merely descriptive accounts of the Gallipoli affair, to find a book that frankly and justifiably does lay claim to technical proficiency. The exponents of vivid narrative, modestly ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 158, April 21, 1920 • Various

... thank you. Funny thing; met a man in the street, hadn't seen for five years. Saw him last in Rio—Funny thing. Well, we lunched together. Not a bad fellow—Seen a thing or two, ...
— The Captives • Hugh Walpole

... their exertions half-hearted, and the smile of youth and beauty was cold like the sheen of winter ice. The shadow of death hung over the institutions and survivals of the various civilizations and epochs which were being dissolved in the common melting-pot, and even the man in the street was conscious of its chilling influence. Life in the capital grew agitated, fitful, superficial, unsatisfying. Its gaiety was forced—something between a challenge to the destroyer and a sad farewell to the past and present. Men were instinctively ...
— The Inside Story Of The Peace Conference • Emile Joseph Dillon

... the Government has been considering steps to bring the personalities of Cabinet Ministers more prominently into the public eye. "We are not sufficiently known," said Sir WILLIAM SUTHERLAND, who has the matter in hand, "as living palpitating figures to the man in the street. We do not grip the ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, May 19, 1920 • Various

... was not so much a burlesque caricature as a reproduction of the Empire period. To an observer, accuracy of detail in a revival of this sort is extremely valuable, but accuracy of detail, to be properly appreciated, demands the critical attention of an expert flaneur; while the man in the street who raises a laugh as soon as he comes in sight is bound to be one of those outrageous exhibitions which stare you in the face, as the saying goes, and produce the kind of effect which an actor tries to secure for the success of his entry. The elderly ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... buying the damp, pink sheets. Rachel actually bought one herself; and overheard the opinion of the man in the street without a pang. So she might think herself lucky! But she did, she did; in the reaction that had come upon her with the first mouthful of raw air, in the intoxication of treading the outer world again, ...
— The Shadow of the Rope • E. W. Hornung

... and that night he left the city in a sort of panic, and traveled to a large town a hundred miles away. Here he succeeded in getting a good job; his spirits began to revive; he made some good acquaintances, and prospered beyond all expectation for nearly a year. One day he noticed a man in the street who stared hard at him; not long after he saw the same man standing in front of the house in which he lodged; the next morning his landlord came to him and, with some embarrassment, said that he would have ...
— The Subterranean Brotherhood • Julian Hawthorne

... himself as what we now call "The Man in the Street," far too bare of scientific clothing to satisfy the Mrs. Grundy of the domain: lacking all recognised tools of science and all sense of the difficulties in his way, he proceeded to tackle the problems of science with little save the deft pen of the literary expert in his hand. ...
— Unconscious Memory • Samuel Butler

... until he was within arm's length of the other man in the street. "You're Fectnor, aren't ...
— Children of the Desert • Louis Dodge

... diplomat in an undiplomatic moment: and expressed well the official mind. "They are six of one and half a dozen of the other," said the man in the street when he heard of massacres, village-burnings, and tortures in the Balkans; and he turned to the football news with undisturbed mind, seeking something on which a fair opinion could be ...
— Bulgaria • Frank Fox

... the agent; "almost nothing, indeed." And drawing his chair nearer to the bed on which his employee was seated, he added: "But first, one question, Victor. By the way in which a woman looks at a young man in the street, at the theatre or anywhere—would you know if ...
— The Count's Millions - Volume 1 (of 2) • Emile Gaboriau

... Greeley, Henry Ward Beecher, Admiral Farragut, General W. T. Sherman, James Russell Lowell, Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Robert E. Lee? None of these people were Presidents of the United States. But to the man in the street there is something imposing about the office and title of a chief magistrate, be he emperor, king, or elected head of a republic. It sets him apart. Look at the crowds that swarm to get a glimpse of the President when he passes through, ...
— Four Americans - Roosevelt, Hawthorne, Emerson, Whitman • Henry A. Beers

... detail. The main thing is this: they forget that most of us are narrowly tied and circumscribed at present by endless monopolies and endless restrictions of land or capital. I should like to buy pictures; but I can't afford them. I long to see Japan; but I shall never get there. The man in the street may desire to till the ground: every acre is appropriated. He may wish to dig coal: Lord Masham prevents him. He may have a pretty taste in Venetian glass: the flints on the shore are private property; the furnace ...
— Post-Prandial Philosophy • Grant Allen

... to Birmingham, or from Birmingham to London. A mind which yields itself to this illusion could probably, with perseverance, be convinced that pale pills are worth a guinea a box for pink people, were anyone interested in enforcing such a harmless proposition: and I have no doubt that the Man in the Street has long since accepted the reiterated axiom that a poet should hold aloof from public affairs, having no more capacity than a ...
— From a Cornish Window - A New Edition • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... does not show her face to any man but her husband. Of late years many women transgress this rule and let the lower part of the veil fall so low that most of the face is seen. Fatima, however, does not go with the new fashion. She shows only her eyes, but her glances are enough to let the man in the street perceive that she is beautiful. None of them is so impertinent as to look at her or speak to her. Only ...
— From Pole to Pole - A Book for Young People • Sven Anders Hedin

... the aim of this book? It is to give the intelligent student-citizen, otherwise called "the man in the street," a bunch of intellectual keys by which to open doors which have been hitherto shut to him, partly because he got no glimpse of the treasures behind the doors, and partly because the portals were made forbidding by an unnecessary display of technicalities. Laying aside conventional ...
— The Outline of Science, Vol. 1 (of 4) - A Plain Story Simply Told • J. Arthur Thomson

... famous Essex fictionist was a meritorious and ingenious work, but he found it far from exhaustive. The idea of God, he held, still needed handling in a capable efficient way. What was wrong with religion was, he said, its mystery; if only it could be pruned of nonsense and made practical for the man in the street, it might become really useful. He personally had not yet thought finally on the subject of God, having just now more tasks on hand (including a new play and universal supervision) than he could count on the Five Fingers, but directly he had time he ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, June 13, 1917 • Various

... days when kings are two a penny, and there is a never-ending procession of Napoleons and Nelsons to the Guildhall to receive swords and freedoms and honorary degrees, the arrival of a Shah of Persia stirs the imagination of the man in the street. He feels something of the old thrill. But in the nineties, of course, we talked about nothing else for weeks. "Have you seen the Shah?" was the popular catch-phrase of the day; there were music hall songs about him; he was almost ...
— If I May • A. A. Milne

... outlook, but this country, during the last ten years, has gone through great vicissitudes. Besides, it is not only the official outlook in which Paul is interested. He doesn't understand, and frankly I don't, the position of what they call over here 'the man in the street.' You see, he must be either a fool, or he must be ...
— The Great Prince Shan • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... been the first man in the street, having lain down in all his clothes except his cassock, and he heartily gave Celeste and the young men his blessing, and counseled everybody to go to bed again. But Celeste reminded them that she was hungry, and as for the rescuers, ...
— The Chase Of Saint-Castin And Other Stories Of The French In The New World • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... regularity as the supreme test in public affairs has passed away from the public mind. It is a great deliverance. The man in the street no longer asks about a measure or a policy merely whether it is good Republican or good Democratic doctrine. Now he asks whether it is honest, and means what it says, whether it will promote the public interest, weaken special privilege, and help to give every man ...
— The Fight For Conservation • Gifford Pinchot

... This, the ordinary man in the street view, is that as Ireland would be as much a part and belonging to Great Britain after a war as before it, whatever the termination of that war might be, she could not fail to share the losses defeat must bring to a common realm. ...
— The Crime Against Europe - A Possible Outcome of the War of 1914 • Roger Casement

... "because he run away! And left an old man in the street—dead, for all he knowed—nor cared neither. Yah!" shrieked the Tammany heeler. ...
— The Scarlet Car • Richard Harding Davis

... producing "another powerful article next week" has not caused him to lose his oratorical form. His gestures are slightly reminiscent of the action of the common pump-handle, but his voice is excellent, and his matter has the merit of exactly resembling what our old friend "the Man in the Street" would say in less Parliamentary language, He has no hesitations, for example, on the subject of making Germany pay. By one of those rapid financial calculations for which he is renowned he has arrived at the comfortable figure of ten thousand ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, Feb. 19, 1919 • Various

... The man in the street does not stop to analyze his position in the general scheme of humanity. He feels that he is the representative of some strongly integrated portion of humanity—now thought of as a "nationality," now as a "race"—and that everything that pertains to him as a typical representative of this ...
— Language - An Introduction to the Study of Speech • Edward Sapir

... that apes humility." There is a good deal of this sort of pride in the careful and conscientious suppression of the egoistic in books and speeches. I have nothing of this modesty to be proud of. I know that I am cleverer than the man in the street, though I take no credit to myself for it, as it is a mere accident of birth, and on the whole a regrettable one. It was this absence of modesty from my composition that recently enabled me to propose the toast of literature ...
— Without Prejudice • Israel Zangwill

... standpoint. In this very prosaic and materialistic age, when very few persons have profound beliefs on any subject, the spectacle of one of the sovereigns of the earth still claiming a divine origin is one that appeals to the ludicrous susceptibilities of that vague entity "the man in the street." It is not well, however, that people should criticise statements in royal proclamations or in royal assertions too seriously. Even in this country there are documents issued from time to time bearing the royal sign manual ...
— The Empire of the East • H. B. Montgomery

... home, too late for half a pipe; engagements about clothes, hats, dresses, guns, lunches, dinners, theatres, you have all in your mind, awake and asleep, and as you run about attending to essentials and superfluities, you jostle with the collarless man in the street, and note the hungry look, and reflect how thin is the ice that bears you and how easy it is to go through, just a step, and you are over the neck—collar gone and the crease out of the trousers. A friend of mine went through the other day and no one knew; ...
— From Edinburgh to India & Burmah • William G. Burn Murdoch

... and heart, one not bounded by narrow sectionalism, but seeing the good wherever it might be. He felt that he had behaved like a prig and a fool. Why should he be influenced by the idle words of some idle man in the street? He was not Lucia Catherwood's guardian; if there were any question of guardianship, she was much better fitted to be ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... Harte stumbled upon the man in the street. He was most comfortably drunk, and pleasant and chatty. Harte remarked upon the splendidly and movingly dramatic incident ...
— Chapters from My Autobiography • Mark Twain

... England could not logically object to their desire for territory or to their plans for larger navies. Her Palmerstons and Disraelis had boasted of the might of the empire on which the sun never set; her Froudes and Seeleys were singing the glories of the 'expansion of England'; the man in the street felt the manifest destiny of the Anglo-Saxon to rule the 'lesser breeds'; while the American Mahan had made clear the importance of sea-power and had pointed the means to the end so glorified. None the less the rivalry was felt uncomfortable, the more so as these nations did not follow Britain's ...
— The Day of Sir Wilfrid Laurier - A Chronicle of Our Own Time • Oscar D. Skelton

... The proposition that the Man in the Street is a better judge of literature than the Critic—the man who knows little than the man who knows more—wears (to my mind, at least) a slightly imbecile air on the face of it. It also appears to me that people are either confusing thought or misusing language when they confer ...
— Adventures in Criticism • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... National loans hitherto issued in war time were floated as a basis of national currency and were taken up by the banks in large amounts. But the Liberty loan was an appeal to the million—to several millions; to the man in the street, the small tradesman, the salaried class. Workers realized that in subscribing to the loan they were not only securing an absolutely safe investment, but were providing funds for wages and profits. The money they invested ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume VI (of VIII) - History of the European War from Official Sources • Various

... to the historical origin of the feudal system, the public imagination goes steadily on with its own curious picture of how that system lived and moved and had its being. A prolix tale of origins would be out of place in this chronicle; but even the mind of the man in the street ought to be set right as regards what feudalism was designed to do, and what in fact it did, for mankind, while civilization battled its way down ...
— The Seigneurs of Old Canada: - A Chronicle of New-World Feudalism • William Bennett Munro

... the Gimcrack Stakes. This wondrous animal's lineage and previous performances are carefully tabulated on a card at the side, and, remembering the form he showed at Gatwick, one wonders, as the man in the street would say, how ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, July 7th, 1920 • Various

... Prussian Home Secretary, and it was then that his name first became familiar to the man in the street in Berlin. Shortly afterward he was appointed Assistant Chancellor of Prince ...
— Kelly Miller's History of the World War for Human Rights • Kelly Miller

... without being constantly assailed by this noxious vapor, as it is breathed from the mouths of all classes in community, from the sooty chimney-sweep, to the parson in his sacerdotal robe. You can scarcely meet a man in the street, with whom you have business, but he pours a stream of smoke into your face, exceedingly disgusting. And this he does too, without imagining that he transgresses the rules of politeness, or gives you any cause ...
— A Dissertation on the Medical Properties and Injurious Effects of the Habitual Use of Tobacco • A. McAllister

... as you say. I admit that your explanation explains a great deal; but what a great deal it leaves out! Are there no other stories in the world except yours; and are all men busy with your business? Suppose we grant the details; perhaps when the man in the street did not seem to see you it was only his cunning; perhaps when the policeman asked you your name it was only because he knew it already. But how much happier you would be if you only knew that these people cared nothing about you! How much larger your ...
— Orthodoxy • G. K. Chesterton

... Just then an organ-man in the street began to play. Glory thought the music might disturb John, and she was going to send Aggie to stop it. But his face brightened and he said: "Sing for me, Glory. Let ...
— The Christian - A Story • Hall Caine

... telephone, and the more they knew of science, the less they were inclined to believe their ears. The wiser they were, the more they wondered. To Henry and Thomson, the masters of electrical magic, this instrument was as surprising as it was to the man in the street. And both were noble enough to admit frankly their astonishment in the reports which they made as judges, when they gave Bell a Certificate of Award. "Mr. Bell has achieved a result of transcendent scientific interest," wrote Sir William Thomson. "I heard ...
— The History of the Telephone • Herbert N. Casson

... natural man as created in the garden of Eden. It was as if a preacher of our own time had described as typically British Frankenstein's monster, and called him Smith, and somebody, on demanding what about the man in the street, had been told "Smith is the man in the street." The thing happens often enough; for indeed the world is full of these Adams and Smiths and men in the street and average sensual men and economic men and womanly women and what not, all ...
— Preface to Androcles and the Lion - On the Prospects of Christianity • George Bernard Shaw

... says the Times (April 15, 1920), "goes far to dethrone the last of the Petrovich dynasty from his once picturesque position in the sympathies of Western admirers. Criticism directed against him during the Balkan wars fell on deaf ears; and the censorship to a great extent prevented the man in the street from realizing during the late War that an Allied Monarch was suspected of 'not playing the game.'" Mr. Ronald M'Neill, M.P., who loved to dance in front of Nicholas, informs us (in the Nineteenth Century and After, ...
— The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 1 • Henry Baerlein

... amusing and plausible is his dealing with the famous topic of the "chops and tomato sauce," not "tomata" as Boz has it. I suppose there is no popular allusion better understood than this. The very man in the street knows all about it and what it means. Absurd as it may seem, it is hardly an exaggeration. Counsel every day give weight to points just as trivial and expound them elaborately to the jury. The Serjeant's burst of horror is admirable, "Gentlemen, what does this mean? 'Chops and tomata sauce! ...
— Bardell v. Pickwick • Percy Fitzgerald

... the Archbishop of St. Paul, Minnesota, might be made Cardinal because the American President respected him, could not be tolerated. The President's letters beginning "Dear Maria" went gayly through the newspapers of the world, and the man in the street everywhere wondered how Roosevelt could have been so indiscreet as to have trusted so imprudent a zealot. "Dear Maria" and her husband were recalled from their Embassy and put out of reach of committing further indiscretions of that sort. Archbishop Ireland never became Cardinal. In spite ...
— Theodore Roosevelt; An Intimate Biography, • William Roscoe Thayer

... dangerous to the public mind. Yet all thought usually reached the public after thirty years in some such form: Benson and Chesterton had popularized Huysmans and Newman; Shaw had sugar-coated Nietzsche and Ibsen and Schopenhauer. The man in the street heard the conclusions of dead genius through some one else's clever paradoxes and ...
— This Side of Paradise • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... twenty men from a neighboring saloon in five minutes. He requested his friend to stand outside and count as he went in and threw them out. Soon a battered man was thrown out the door far into the street. The friend began his count and shouted, 'One!' But the man in the street staggered to his feet and angrily screamed, 'Stop counting! It's me!' When this feast opened I was proudly expecting to make a speech, but the great men who have preceded me have done all and more than I intended to do. The hour is spent—they are sounding 'taps' at the door. I could not hope ...
— Russell H. Conwell • Agnes Rush Burr

... to 585 Boylston Street in a business building, and local societies were kept in touch. Every effort was made to reach labor unions and other organizations of men with speakers and educational propaganda and to carry information to the man in the street, who often had never heard of the Woman Suffrage Association. The executive board met every two weeks and later every week or oftener. Mrs. Page, its chairman, was followed in 1911 by Mrs. Marion Booth Kelley; in 1912 by Mrs. Gertrude B. Newell, ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume VI • Various

... than reason, we are told; for intuition goes straight to the heart of a situation and has already acted while reason is debating. Much of this new philosophy is a kind of higher obscurantism; the man in the street applauds Bergson and William James because he dislikes science and logic, and values will, courage and sentiment. He used to be fond of repeating that Waterloo was won on the playing fields of our public schools, until it was painfully ...
— Cambridge Essays on Education • Various



Words linked to "Man in the street" :   Joe Blow, commoner, common person, common man



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