Joe-schmoe Definition


(US, informal) The typical, everyday person who does not have any special status, frequently in contrast to some group.


Origin of Joe-schmoe

  • Derivative of Joe (as in average Joe). Adding a schm- or shm- to the beginning of a word is meant to diminish, negate, or dismiss an argument (for instance, "rain, schmain, we've got a game to play"). This process was adapted in English from the use of the "shm" prefix in Yiddish to dismiss something; as in, "fancy, schmancy." While "Schmoe" (alternate spellings) are thought by some linguists to be a clipping of Yiddish schmuck ("penis") but not universally accepted.

    From Wiktionary

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