Tag Archives: Tom Dick and Harry

Schmo, Blow, Doe & Bloggs: not just any old Joe, John or Fred


Joe on his own can mean any bloke, chap or fellow.* Especially if he has average in front of his name. (It can also mean coffee, but let’s not get off topic.) To the Brits, Joe is sometimes the embodiment of an American — as in GI Joe. But when we’re talking about a hypothetical average normal ordinary guy, Joe tends to get his own surname: Bloggs if he’s British; Schmo or Blow if he’s American.

In its recent review of the coffee-making alarm clock the Barisieur, Coolest-Gadgets.com commented that “this $200-330 purchase is certainly not for the average Joe Schmoe.” [Isn’t that tautologous, “average Joe Schmoe”? Isn’t he average by definition?] And on the other side of the Atlantic, “the general Joe Bloggs you meet in the street or at Sainsbury’s may have watched women’s rugby a bit on TV,” English rugby player Maggie Alphonsi was quoted as saying in The Independent Continue reading