man in the street

Idioms & Phrases

man in the street

Also, 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.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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