Joe public

(slang) the general public

the general public

Joe Public does not buy Bush’s apologetics.
Word Origin

Usage Note



The general public: Joe Public first was theatrical slang (1942+)


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    noun phrase An unpopular person (1934+ Black)

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    noun the hypothetical average or ordinary person Word Origin 1947; alternation of schmuck Usage Note slang; pl. Schmoes noun phrase An undistinguished and unfortunate person [1960s+; fr schmo, a Yiddish or quasi-Yiddish word meaning ”unfortunate person, schlemiel”]

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