Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 12:13:58 PDT
From: Phil Thomas

Ron Butters wrote:

>I am familiar with the term THE MAN from working-class white (and
>black)speakers in the South (particularly in Wilmington, NC), who in
>the early 1970s (and probably earlier) used the phrase to indicate
>what I would have indicated by THE BOSS. For example, if someone came
>to a job site looking for work, he might ask, "Who is the man?"

As well as "The Man" being invoked to represent establishment,
government, or other 'higher powers', it seems to have some roots in
drug culture; reference "Waiting For My Man" by the Velvet Underground,
a song about nothing more than waiting for a heroin dealer to show up
with his wares, where the drug dealer is the narrator's "Man".

Does anyone know of any other examples in this vein (um, no pun


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