• synonyms

John Q. Public

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  1. the average or typical U.S. citizen: an entertainment aimed at Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public.

Origin of John Q. Public

An Americanism dating back to 1935–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for john q. public

John Q. Public


"average American citizen," attested from 1934.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with john q. public

john q. public

see under John Doe.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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