Joe Bloggs

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"Joe Bloggs", "Fred Bloggs" and "Bill Taylor" are placeholder names used primarily in the United Kingdom to represent the average man on the street. It is used by students, on standardised test preparation courses, to represent the average test-taker. Many countries, such as the United States, Germany or South Africa, use their own unique placeholder names, some even used tongue in cheek. Sometimes the name will be useful as a quick alternative, or stalling mechanism especially when used in conjunction with "What's'isname?" and "'Im down the street", when a forgotten name sits on the tip of the tongue.


In The Princeton Review standardised test preparation courses, "Joe Bloggs" represents the average test-taker, and students are trained to identify the "Joe Bloggs answer", or the choice which seems right but may be misleading on harder questions.[1]

"Joe Bloggs" was a brand name for a clothing range, especially baggy jeans, which was closely associated with the Madchester scene of the 1990s.[2]


The name Bloggs is believed to have been derived from the East Anglian region of Britain, Norfolk or Suffolk, deriving from bloc, a bloke. In the UK, a "bloke" represents the average man on the street.

Similar cases[edit]

In the United Kingdom and United States, John or Joe or Jack have historically been the most common male first names, and Smith is the most common surname in each, so "John Smith" is a recurrent pseudonym and placeholder name in those countries (especially in legal contexts). But usually the most popular commonly used placeholder names in the United States are "John Doe", "Joe Blow", "Jack".

Other placeholders, often used in advertising store cards and credit cards, are Mr/Mrs A Smith or A. N. Other.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "SAT Test Prep — The Princeton Review". Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  2. ^ Weir, Laura (10 March 2008). "Joe Bloggs". Drapers. Retrieved 19 May 2020.