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man on the street (plural men on the street)

  1. (idiomatic) An ordinary member of the general public, especially one who lacks special expertise.
    • 1919, Lee Meriwether, The War Diary of a Diplomat, Dodd, Mead and Company, page 173:
      Such was the airy way with which, not an illiterate man on the street, but a brilliant woman of the world disposed of a tremendous historical fact.
    • 2004, Steve Rushin, The Caddie Was a Reindeer: And Other Tales of Extreme Recreation, Atlantic Monthly Press, ISBN 0871138786, page 214:
      "When do the Olympics begin?" a reporter from a Nagano television station asks me in a man-on-the-street interview.
    • 2005, Martin Endress, George Psathas, and Hisashi Nasu, eds., Explorations of the Life-World: Continuing Dialogues with Alfred Schutz, Springer, ISBN 1402032196, page 136"
      It is not only the man on the street who is characterized by taking one's own system of relevance for granted. This holds true for the expert,....