BBC Learning English: The English We Speak – Joe Bloggs: In English, when we want to refer to the average person we can use the name ‘Joe Bloggs’.
Finn’s reading about a someone who sells shoes to Joe Bloggs. He sold so many that he’s a millionaire. But can you really make so much money selling to just one person? And who is Joe Bloggs? Listen to the programme to find out who this mysterious guy is.
Hi Finn. What’s that you’re reading?
Oh, it’s just a really interesting article about a man who made a fortune by selling shoes, Feifei. You know, he’s a billionaire!
A billionaire?! I guess the shoes must be very expensive – for the upper classes…
Well. No, not at all. The shoes are just for Joe Bloggs.
Joe Bloggs? He made all that money, making shoes for just one man?
No. What I mean is, the man made a fortune selling shoes for the average person. In English, when we want to refer to the average person we can use the name ‘Joe Bloggs’.
Ah, I see. So, Joe Bloggs could be any one of us.
That’s right. Any Tom, Dick or Harry.
Oh! Who are they?
This is another expression we use when we want to talk about lots of people in general; nobody in particular: Tom, Dick or Harry.
Ah. I see… They’re short, common names. Thank you for the explanation, Finn. You know, I love reading these American news websites… Oh! Finn! Tragedy in Miami!
Really? What happened?
It’s here in this article… a policeman said he found the body of John Doe in a popular nightclub. He was stabbed! Poor Doe family!
Feifei, this is sad news, especially for this man’s family. But they are probably not called Doe. They’re not the Doe family.
Why not? Do you know them?
Well, in American English, John Doe is a name often used when referring to the victim of a crime whose body hasn’t been identified.
Ah! I’ve heard this name before… in crime TV shows.
Yes. In the US they use John Doe when the victim is male and Jane Doe when the victim is female. Let’s hear some examples of these expressions used in today’s The English We Speak.
A: Bright purple jacket? Sparkly blue skirt? Who wears such outrageous clothes?
B: Well, this fashion designer is popular among the very trendy. These clothes are not for Joe Bloggs!
Listen, this is a very exclusive party I’m inviting you to. Don’t go around talking about it or every Tom, Dick and Harry will end up there.
Detective: The John Doe found at the scene is in the morgue right now. We’re waiting for the DNA test results to identify the body.
So Joe Bloggs; Tom, Dick and Harry; and John Doe and Jane Doe are not real people.
What a crowd!
That’s a very interesting lesson. Thank you, Finn.
You’re welcome, Feifei. Time to go. Bye!
The English We Speak – Joe Bloggs Transcript Video
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