5x6 (5x6) wrote in linguaphiles,

Who is "The Man"?

In English (at least, in American English) "The Man" stands for the government, the authorities, the powers-that-be, like in "to sell out to The Man".

In Russian, particularly in the Soviet Union, "The Man" referred to a Joe Shmoe, an average person, a plain worker, farmer etc. A typical Communist slogan was "Все во имя человека, все во благо человека" - "Everything [that we the Party do] is to be in the name of The Man, for the benefit of The Man".

In other word, "The Man" in American English and in Soviet Russian had not just different, but exactly opposite meanings. How about other languages? Is there "The Man" there, and if yes, who is he?

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