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Average Joe In 11 Different Languages

When it comes to a singular word or phrase, the English language is pretty straightforward. For example, the moniker “Average Joe” is often used to describe an unassuming person with a typical job. But how does one say the same thing in other languages? And are they more than just two words?

Here are some of the many different ways across the globe that one can say “Average Joe:”

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1.     Germany: Otto Normalverbraucher

When it comes to grammar, all languages seem to have a unique way of conveying thoughts and feelings. The German language is no different. While there is no direct equivalent in the language, the closest the language can come to matching the term “Average Joe” is “Otto Normalverbraucher. Translated, it means “normal consumer.”

It was coined to pay homage to a film character who went by that name in the film Berliner Ballade (1948).

2.     China: Zhang San, Li Si

Like English, the Chinese language may have a few different ways to refer to one thing. Translated into English, it means “Three Zhang, Four Li.” If that leaves you scratching your head, it is a reference to one of the most common Chinese surnames to exist.

3.     Denmark: Morten Menigmand

Fron Denmark, this one is a little closer to the English version. The language spoken by the majority in Denmark is Greenlandic. “Morten Menigmand” translates literally to “Morton Everyman.”

4.     Australia: Fred Nurk

Down under in the country of Australia, one would use the term ‘Fred Nurk’ to refer to an Average Joe. People in Australia might also refer to an average Joe by the term “Old Mate.”

This might be confusing to someone from the island of Great Britain, where “Old Mate” might refer to an old friend or classmate from school.

5.     Russia: Vasya Pupkin

The first part of this moniker, “Vasya,” literally translates to guy. For example: “Yo, Vasya. Can I borrow your phone?” When one refers to another as ‘Vasya pupkin,’ it is more insulting than it sounds. Take care not to refer to a stranger with ‘Vasya Pupkin’ if you happen to be visiting in Russia.

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6.     Finland: Matti Meikalainen

The language of Finland also has a pretty close equivalent to Average Joe. In the Finnish language, one would use the term Matti Meikalainen. The second part of the term, “Meikalainen,” looks like one of the common names used in Finland.

7.     Sweden: Medelsvensson

Interestingly, this term got its start at the Stockholm exhibition in 1930. It was at that point Swedish census determined it as the most common name in the country. Literally, “Medelsvensson” translates to “average Swedish resident.”

Seeing what the translation is, I’m glad whoever coined it shortened to one word in their language.

8.     France: Monsieur Tout-Le-Monde

France, having the unique sound it does when compared to others has its term that very closely resembles the English equivalent of ‘average joe.’ “Monsieur Tout-Le-Monde” translates to “Mr. Everyone.” Some might also refer to an average Joe as Jean Dupont as well. If you ask a French citizen what others can be used, they might bring up names or terms such as Monsieur Durand, Monsieur/Madame Tout-le-monde, Tartempion, Beauf, Paul Martin, and Machin/Machine.

9.     UK/New Zealand: Joe Bloggs

With New Zealand being in such proximity to Australia, you would think they would share the term for “average Joe.” But in the land of kiwis, their term is more similar to the one used in the UK.

In the UK territories or New Zealand, an average Joe might be referred to as Joe Bloggs, John Doe, Bob Smith. Citizens in the UK might also use terms or names such as “the man in the street, Dai Jones (Wales), or Jock Tamson (Scotland).

10. Italy: Mario Rossi

“Mario Rossi” is the term used in the boot-shaped country to refer to their ‘average Joe.’ This is because it is as common in Italy as the name Jose is in Mexican communities and the country of Mexico itself.

To address your ‘average jane’ in Italy, one might use the term Casalinga di Voghera (Voghera Housewife).

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11. Latin America: Juan Perez

With all the countries that exist within ‘Latin America,’ this is more of a generalized version sparsely used across those countries.

Each country might have a more unique version, but this is acceptable in all countries that exist with Latin America.

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