In layman's terms: what does the term "in layman's terms" mean?

by haael
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haael is offline
Apr9-11, 06:00 AM
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Please explain that to me. Everyone is using it and I don't get it. It bugs me so much I can't sleep.
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lisab is offline
Apr9-11, 09:36 AM
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It means, a simple explanation; one that can be understood by someone who is not an expert in the field.

physics girl phd
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In layman's terms: what does the term "in layman's terms" mean?

In layman's terms: Using language "for dummies."
G01 is offline
Apr9-11, 02:44 PM
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Historically, a layman is a person who is a member of a church but not a member of the clergy. Ex: Someone who is a practicing Catholic, but not a Catholic priest.

The term layman is now used to mean anyone who is not an expert or practitioner of the field in question, but still interested in the field. i.e. For physics, a layman is someone with an interest in physics, but who isn't a practicing physicist or physics student.

So, an explanation in "layman's terms" means an explanation that can be understood by interested parties who are not experts.
Proton Soup
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Apr9-11, 03:56 PM
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not using "big words". specialized professions have their own languages.
TheStatutoryApe is offline
Apr10-11, 11:32 PM
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Quote Quote by Proton Soup View Post
not using "big words". specialized professions have their own languages.
This. There tend to be specialized "jargon" particular to a field and persons outside that field are not likely to be familiar with the vocabulary. So generally speaking it refers to using words that are understandable to anyone (hopefully) though it can also just mean explaining something in simplified or "dumbed down" terms.
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Apr11-11, 03:04 AM
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to describe something in laymen's terms generally means to use a metaphor; something the laymen is familiar with (describing particles as "wave like" for instance). But it tends to lead to misconceptions.

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