Average Joe  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The terms Average Joe, Ordinary Joe, Joe Sixpack (for males) and Ordinary, Average, or Plain Jane (for females), are used primarily in North America to refer to a completely average person, typically an average American. It can be used both to give the image of a hypothetical "completely average person" or to describe an existing person. Parallel terms in other languages for local equivalents exist worldwide.

Today, statistics by the United States Department of Commerce provide information regarding the societal attributes of those who may be referred to as being "average". While some individual attributes are easily identified as being average, such as the median income, other characteristics, such as family arrangements may not be identified as being average.

In 2000, for example no single household arrangement constituted more than 30% of total households. Married couples with no children were the most common constituting 28.7% of households. It would nonetheless be inaccurate to state that the average American lives in a childless couple arrangement as 71.3% do not. Other "average" characteristics are easier to identify.

In terms of social class, the average American may be described as either being middle or working class. As social classes lack distinct boundaries the average American may have a status in the area where the lower middle and working class overlap. Overall the average American, age 25 or older, made roughly $32,000 per year, does not have a college degree, has been, is, or will be married as well as divorced at least once during his or her lifetime, lives in his or her own home in a suburban setting, and holds a white-collar office job.

"Average Joes" are common fodder for characters in television or movies, comics, novels or radio dramas. On television, examples of "average Joes" include Doug Heffernan (King of Queens), Archie Bunker (All in the Family) and Homer Simpson (The Simpsons). In the film Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, the protagonist, Peter, owns a gym for those who don't want an intensive workout, and the patrons of the gym are all somewhat overweight. The gym is named Average Joe's Gymnasium.

In real life, as chronicled in his bestseller The Average American: The Extraordinary Search for the Nation's Most Ordinary Citizen, Kevin O'Keefe successfully completed a nationwide search for the person who was the most statistically average in the United States during a multi-year span starting in 2000. Newsweek proclaimed of the book, "The journey toward run-of-the-mill has never been so remarkable."

Variants in other countries

Albania Filan Fisteku
Argentina Juan Pérez, Fulano (de Tal) (likely from Arabic Fulan), Mengano, Menganito
Australia Fred Nurk, Joe Farnarkle, John (or: Jane) Citizen, Joe (or: Jane) Bloggs, Joe Blow, Norm
Austria Hans Meier, Hans Maier, Hans Mayer, Herr und Frau Österreicher (Mr and Mrs Austrian), Max und Martha Mustermann, Otto Normalverbraucher, the Jeti-Tant' from Apetlon
Azerbaijan Filankes Filankesov
Basque Country Iñaki, Patxi
Belgium Jan Janssen, Piet Pietersen, Jos Joskens, Jan Modaal, Jef Klak, Jan met de Pet
Bosnia and Herzegovina Marko Marković, Petar Petrović, Sima Simić, Niko Neznanović, Kokalo Ibrahim
Brazil Fulano (de Tal), Sicrano, Beltrano, João da Silva, Zé da Silva, Zé Ninguém
Bulgaria Иван Иванов (Ivan Ivanov), лицето Х (Person X)
Canada Joe Blow, G. Raymond, Pierre Jean Jacques
Chile Juan Pérez, Fulano de Tal, Perico de los Palotes, N.N. (Ningún Nombre, i.e., No Name, a nobody)
China and Taiwan Template:Zh, Template:Zh, Template:Zh, Template:Zh, translated Somebody, sometimes used with a person's name, Template:Zh)
Colombia Fulano de Tal, Pepito Pérez
Costa Rica Juan Pérez, Fulano de Tal, Sutano, Mengano, Perencejo, Juan Vainas, Perico de los Palotes
Croatia Ivan Horvat, Pero Perić
Cuba Fulano, Mengano, Ciclano, Esperancejo (female versions: Fulana, Mengana, Ciclana, Esperanceja.) Optional family name: de Tal ("of something or other")
Czech Republic Jan Novák, Pepa Novák (Josef Novák), Karel Vomáčka, Franta Vomáčka, Pepa Vomáčka (Josef Vomáčka), Anna Nováková
Denmark Hr. og fru Jensen (Mr and Mrs Jensen), Morten Menigmand (Morten Simpleman)
Ecuador Juan Perez, Fulano, Sultano, Mengano, Juan Piguabe
Egypt Folan (Arabic: فلان) (female: Folana, فلانة); Elan (علان), as partner.
Estonia Jaan Tamm (male), Tädi Maali (old woman, literally "Aunt Maali")
Faroe Islands Miðalhampamaður, Palleba (male), Marsanna (female)
Finland Matti Meikäläinen (male, literally "our Matti"), Maija Meikäläinen (female, literally "our Maija")
France Beauf, Jean Dupont, Paul Martin, Monsieur Durand, Monsieur Tout-le-monde, Madame Michu (female)
Germany Otto Normalverbraucher, Max Mustermann, Erika Mustermann, Lieschen Müller, Hinz und Kunz
Greece Γιάννης/Γιώργος/Μαρία Τάδε (Giannis/Giorgos/Maria Tade), o/η Δείνα (his partner), Γιάννης/Γιώργος Καραμήτρος (Giannis/Giorgos Karamitros), Ένας Κάποιος (Enas Kapoios - Somebody), Α. Β. Κάτοχος (A.B. Katohos, A.B. Owner, used on sample credit cards)
Guatemala Juan Pérez, Fulano, Sutano (or Zutano), Mengano, Perencejo
Hongkong and Macao Template:Zh (male), Template:Zh (boy)
Hungary Gipsz Jakab, Kiss Pista, Kovács János, Jóska Pista
India Aam Aadmi (Template:Lang-hi, ordinary citizen); Kuppan Suppan (Template:Lang-ta) (common Tamil Male names)
Indonesia Si Polan
Israel Mrs. Cohen from Hadera, Hebrew גברת כהן מחדרה
Iran Folani (Template:Lang), Felani (Template:Lang), Yaroo (Template:Lang)
Ireland Seán and Síle Citizen; Irish: Seán Ó Rudaí, from rud = thing(s)
Iceland Meðal-Jón, Meðal-Jóna, Jón Jónsson, Jóna Jónsdóttir
Italy Mario Rossi, Pinco Pallino, Tizio, Caio, Sempronio
Japan Template:Lang (Yamada Tarō), Template:Lang (Yamada Hanako), Template:Lang (Nanashi no Gombei), Template:Lang (Nanno Nanigashi)
Kenya Wanjiku (female)
Korea Template:Lang (Hong Gil-dong)
Latvia Jānis Bērziņš
Lebanon Majhoul (Arabic: مجهول), Folan (Arabic: فلان) (female: Folana, Arabic: فلانة), Elan (Arabic: علان) as partner.
Lithuania Vardenis Pavardenis, Jonas Jonaitis, Petras Petraitis
Macedonia Петар Петровски (Petar Petrovski)
Malaysia Si Anu, Si Polan, Si Polan Bin Si Polan
Malta Joe Borg
Mauritius Sa Nation la, Sa boug la (males); Safame la, Sapitin la (females)
Mexico Juan Pérez, Fulano de Tal, Mangano, Perengano, Zutano
Nepal Ram, Shyam, Hari and other colloquial names such as Chamar, Ram Kumar Deshar, Sigdel, and Jyapu
Netherlands Jan Modaal, Harry Holland, Familie Doorsnee, Henk en Ingrid
New Zealand Joe Bloggs, John Doe, Bob Smith
Nigeria Lagbaja, Baba Bomboy
Norway Ola (male) og Kari (female) Nordmann (literally Ola and Kari Norwegian)
Pakistan Falana (male), Falani (female). Derived from the Persian equivalents.
Panama Juan Pérez, Fulano de Tal, Sultano, Mengano
Paraguay Juan Pérez, Fulano de Tal, Sultano, Mengano, N.N.
Peru Juan Pérez, Fulano de Tal, Zutano, Mengano
Philippines Juan dela Cruz
Poland Jan Kowalski
Portugal Manuel Dos Santos, Zé Ninguém, o Outro (the other one), Fulano de tal
Puerto Rico Fulano de Tal, Juan Perez, or Juan del Pueblo
Romania Ion Popescu, Escu, Gheorghe, Necunoscut, Xulescu, Cutare Cutărică
Russia Иванов (Ivanov), Петров-Сидоров (Petrov and Sidorov), Вася Пупкин (Vasya Pupkin), Вася Тапочкин (Vasya Tapochkin)
Serbia, Montenegro Petar Petrović, Pera Perić, Marko Marković, Janko Janković
Singapore Tan Ah Kao and Tan Ah Beng
Slovakia Jožko Mrkvička
Slovenia Janez Novak, Janez Pouprečnik
South Africa Koos van der Merwe, Piet Pompies, Joe Soap
Spain male: Fulano (de Tal), Fulanito (de Tal), Pepe Pérez, Mengano, Menganito, Perico de los Palotes, Menganito de Cual, Zutano, Zutanito, Sultano, Sultanito, Don Nadie, Juan Nadie, Perengano. Female: Fulanita (de Tal), Mengana, Menganita (de Tal)
Sweden Medelsvensson, Kalle Svensson, Svensson, Svenne
Switzerland Herr und Frau Schweizer (Mr and Mrs Swiss), Hans Meier, Hans Mustermann, Max Muster
Thailand Somchai, Sommai, Nai-Gor
Turkey Sade Vatandaş; Ahmet/Mehmet, Ali/Veli, Hasan/Hüseyin (male); Ayşe/Fatma (female); Falan (kişi) / Filan (kişi, "somebody"; also female: Filane).
United Kingdom Fred Bloggs or Joe Bloggs, Joe (or: Jane) Public, John Smith, the man in the street, the man on the Clapham omnibus, 'Tom, Dick and Harry' in Wales; Dai Jones
Uruguay Fulano, Mengano; Juan Perez
Venezuela Fulano, Fulano de Tal, Sutano, Mengano, Perencejo, Pedro Perez, Juan de los Palotes, Juan Bimba
Vietnam Nguoi La, Người dấu tên, Thường dân (ordinary citizen)
Zimbabwe Joe Bloggs, Nyoni, Marabha

See also

International




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Average Joe" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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