Joe Sixpack

or Joe Six-pack

[joh siks-pak]

What does Joe Sixpack mean?


Joe Sixpack is an average, working-class American male. He is often characterized—sometimes positively, sometimes negatively—as a guy who isn't very highly educated, who likes sports, and who enjoys putting back a couple of beers.

Examples of Joe Sixpack


Examples of Joe Sixpack
Sad thing is Joe Sixpack will begrudge another Joe Sixpack using food stamps in difficult times
@RonaldChapman1, August, 2018
Mike Judge, the creator of King of the Hill and Beavis & Butthead, once told a story on Letterman about how, one day, his Joe Six-pack next-door neighbor was inexplicably removing the back windshield from a 1978 Chevy Nova
Bob Cesca, HuffPost, November, 2008

Where does Joe Sixpack come from?

Joe Sixpack dates back to at least the 1970s, used in political contexts for the average male voter. Joe calls up an average Joe, or regular guy, and Sixpack refers to beer, sold in six-packs.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton notably used Joe Sixpack for “private citizen” after the dismissal of Paula Jones’s sexual harassment lawsuit against him. It was in 2008, however, that Joe Sixpack went viral when Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin figured herself as a female Joe Sixpack (and hockey mom): “It’s time that a normal Joe Six-pack American is finally represented in the position of vice presidency.”

Given the fact Palin made notorious gaffes on the campaign trail exposing her inexperience or ignorance on important matters, critics countered that a Joe Sixpack wasn’t exactly what the country didn’t need in the White House. To this end, Palin was much satirized on Saturday Night Live, including for her Joe Sixpack remarks. In one particular sketch, Palin (played by Tina Fey) and her top-of-the-ticket John McCain himself were on a QVC shopping channel selling products, among them a Joe Sixpack action figure.

Who uses Joe Sixpack?

Politicians and political writers love to refer to average, male, beer-drinking voters who candidates want to win over as Joe Sixpack, a kind of working-class answer to the soccer mom. The term generally champions the man in this context, but in popular culture, it often disparages him.

In a standup act in 2008, for instance, comedian George Carlin memorably knocked Joe Sixpack as a “a guy who hasn’t seen his dick since the Nixon administration” thanks to his beer belly. This Joe Sixpack is stereotyped as overweight and stupid.

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