Joe Shmoe (also spelled Joe Schmoe and Joe Schmo and "Yo Hschmo") is one of the most commonly used fictional names in American English. Adding a "Shm" to the beginning of a word is meant to diminish, negate, or dismiss an argument (for instance, "Rain, shmain, we've got a game to play"). This process was adapted in English from the use of the "schm" prefix in Yiddish to dismiss something; as in, "Fancy, schmancy." While "schmo" ("schmoo," "schmoe") was thought by some linguists to be a clipping of Yiddish "schmuck", an etymology supported by the Oxford English Dictionary, that derivation is not universally accepted.
- Joe Bloggs
- John Doe
- John Q. Public
- Average Joe
- Placeholder name
- Schmuck (pejorative)
- Man on the street
- Feinsilver, Lillian Mermin (1956), "Schmo, Schmog, and Schnook", American Speech (Duke UP) 31 (3), pp. 236–37.
- The Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press, 1989, retrieved 2008-03-12.
- Gold, David L. (1988), "Review of Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America by Sol Steinmetz", American Speech (Duke UP) 63 (3), p. 276