be a/the poor man's (someone or something)

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be a/the poor man's (someone or something)

To be an inferior substitute for the actual or genuine person or thing. That local artist is the poor man's Jackson Pollack—to everyone in town, at least. I was happy with my new car, even though my friends think it's just a poor man's Jaguar.
See also: poor

be a/the ˌpoor man’s ˈsb/ˈsth

be a person or thing that is similar to but of a lower quality than a particular famous person or thing: Try some of this sparkling white wine — the poor man’s champagne.
See also: poor, Sb, sth
References in classic literature ?
'I AM the Poor Man's Friend,' observed Sir Joseph, glancing at the poor man present.
"I am the poor man's Jane Horrocks," she quipped, "if they can't afford her, I get the call to do Northern."
"I would say I am the poor man's Tom Izzo," Coles said of the Michigan State coach.