man of the people

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man of the people (plural men of the people)

  1. (idiomatic, usually of a celebrity or political leader) One who shows understanding of and sympathy for the concerns of ordinary people, and who has a rapport with and acceptance by ordinary people.
    • 1843, Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, ch. 16:
      He could hang about a bar-room, discussing the affairs of the nation, for twelve hours together; and in that time could hold forth with more intolerable dulness, chew more tobacco, smoke more tobacco, drink more rum-toddy, mint-julep, gin-sling, and cock-tail, than any private gentleman of his acquaintance. This made him an orator and a man of the people. In a word, the major was a rising character, and a popular character.
    • 1873, Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, The Gilded Age, ch. 19:
      Colonel, you are the man, you could influence more votes than any one else on such a measure, an old settler, a man of the people, you know the wants of Missouri.
    • 1911, Anna Katharine Green, Initials Only, ch. 14:
      Besides, I am a man of the people. I like the working class, and am willing to be thought one of them.
    • 1981 July 27, Serge Schmemann, "Adulation Grows after Death of Soviet Folk Hero Vysotsky," New York Times (retrieved 16 Oct 2013):
      It was the story of a man of the people who made good and kept his integrity, who understood the people and could make them laugh and cry.
    • 2008 Feb. 28, Simon Robinson, "Working on the Railroad: On the Mangala Lakshadweep Express," Time (retrieved 16 Oct 2013):
      He is adored by millions as a man of the people because he is of a lower caste — a rarity among politicians.

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