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       a common man

Pseudonyms:
       Henk en Ingrid
       Hinz und Kunz
       Israel Israeli
       Jan Janssen
       Jan Kak
       Jan met de pet
       Jan Modaal
       Jane Q. Citizen
       Jane Q. Public
       Jane Q. Taxpayer
       Joe Blow
       Joe Doakes
       Joe the Plumber
       Joe Public
       Joe Shmoe
       Joe Six-pack
       Joe the Plumber’s
       John Q. Citizen
       John Q. Public
       John Q. Taxpayer
       Jos Joskens
       Juan Prez
       Koos van der Merwe
       manden p gaden
       Monsieur/Madame Tout-le-monde
       Ola og Kari Nordmann
       Otto Normalverbraucher & Lieschen Mller
       Piet Pietersen
       Piet Pompies
       Sen Citizen
       Tom, Dick and Harry

Joe Public may refer to a generic name used informally to denote a hypothetical member of society deemed a ‘common man’ in the United Kingdom, known as John Q. Public in the United States. He is presumed to represent the randomly selected ‘man on the street.’
       Similar terms include John Q. Citizen and John Q. Taxpayer, or Jane Q. Public, Jane Q. Citizen, and Jane Q. Taxpayer for a woman. For multiple people, ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’ is often used.
Roughly equivalent are the names ‘Joe Six-pack, ‘Joe Blow’, the nowadays less popular ‘Joe Doakes’ and ‘Joe Shmoe’, the last of which implies a lower-class citizen (from the Yiddish ‘schmo’ [simpleton], or possibly Hebrew ‘sh'mo’ [(what's)-his-name].
       In the United States, the term ‘John Q. Public’ is used by law enforcement officers to refer to an individual with no criminal bent, as opposed to terms like ‘perp’ (short for perpetrator). An example of its use: Candidate John McCain referenced a similar symbol, this time represented by an actual person, saying that Senator Obama’s tax plan would hurt Joe the Plumber’s bottom line. A fifteen-minute debate on this issue ensued, with both candidates speaking directly to ‘Joe’.
       The term ‘John Q. Public’ originates from a character created by Vaughn Shoemaker, cartoonist for the Chicago Daily News, in 1922. Later Jim Lange, cartoonist for The Oklahoman, created version of John Q. Public, whom he sometimes also called ‘Mr. Voter’. Lange's character was described as: bespectacled, moustachioed, fedora wearing’.

Variants of John Q. Public in other countries are:
       Israel: ‘Israel Israeli’
       Ireland: ‘Sen Citizen’
       Spanish speaking countries: ‘Juan Prez’
       Germany: ‘Hinz und Kunz’,
       ‘Otto Normalverbraucher & Lieschen Mller’
       Norway: ‘Ola og Kari Nordmann’.
       South Africa: ‘Koos van der Merwe’, ‘Piet Pompies’
       France: ‘Monsieur/Madame Tout-le-monde’
       Denmark: ‘manden p gaden’ [the man on the street]
       Belgium: ‘Jan Janssen’, ‘Piet Pietersen’, ‘Jos Joskens’, ‘Jan Kak’
       The Netherlands: ‘Jan Modaal’, ‘Jan met de pet’, ‘Henk en Ingrid’

See also John Doe and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Source:
‘John Q. Public’, Wikipedia, retrieved 13 October 2013


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