man in the street

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man in the street

An average person. Just interview a man in the street so we can hear public sentiment about the new law.
See also: man, street

man in the street

Fig. the ordinary person. Politicians rarely care what the man in the street thinks. The man in the street has little interest in literature.
See also: man, street

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.
See also: man, street

the man in the street

or

the man on the street

COMMON When people talk about the man in the street or the man on the street, they mean ordinary, average people. If you asked the average man in the street to name just one geological structure, he would probably say: the San Andreas Fault. It was the man on the street who suffered as the value of his currency fell. Note: Words such as woman and person are sometimes used instead of man. It was described in terms that the ordinary man and woman in the street could understand. The information must be presented in a way that ordinary people in the street can understand.
See also: man, street

the man in (or on) the street

an ordinary person, usually with regard to their opinions, or as distinct from an expert.
A specifically British variation of this expression is the man on the Clapham omnibus (see below).
See also: man, street

the ˌman (and/or ˌwoman) in the ˈstreet

(British English also the man (and/or woman) on the ˌClapham ˈomnibus old-fashioned) an average or ordinary person, either male or female: You have to explain it in terms that the man in the street would understand.
See also: man, street
References in classic literature ?
The young woman in the street replied by a single tap, and the shutter was opened a little way.