Thursday, January 7, 2010

Slang word of the day: John Q. Public

Today's slang word of the day is John Q. Public. Click here to view the definition, vote on usage, etc.

-- Walter (


  1. I know "John Q. Public" well from Vaughn Shoemaker's cartoons that ran on the cover of the Chicago Tribune when I was a boy. He is a stand-in not so much for "everyman" as for a particular kind of voter: a self-righteous "white" male, with pretensions of respectability, balding and over 30, at least a HS degree but nothing past college, no prison record or recent arrests, native-born and certainly not un-documented. He was generally reactionary and was always sputtering or shouting his outrage and disgust about one thing or another while holding or waving an open newspaper in one hand, and generally showing his prejudices and ignorance of the other 90% of the inhabitants of the US.

    "John Doe" is a better stand-in for everyman, or "John and Jane Doe" for everyperson, as it implies "the unknown person", fill in the blank, could be anyone.

    Chris Horton

  2. Thanks for your comment.

    There's more information on Wikipedia, as well.