The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D. Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers. Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with man in the street
man in the street
woman in the street. An ordinary, average person, as in It will be interesting to see how the man in the street will answer that question. This expression came into use in the early 1800s when the votes of ordinary citizens began to influence public affairs. Today it is used especially in the news media, where reporters seek out the views of bystanders at noteworthy events, and by pollsters who try to predict the outcome of elections.