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

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

    Please explain that to me. Everyone is using it and I don't get it. It bugs me so much I can't sleep.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
    Gold Member

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

    Google is your friend.
     
  4. lisab

    Staff: Mentor

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

    It means, a simple explanation; one that can be understood by someone who is not an expert in the field.
     
  5. Re: In layman's terms: what does the term "in layman's terms" mean?

    In layman's terms: Using language "for dummies."
     
  6. G01

    G01 2,698
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

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

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

    not using "big words". specialized professions have their own languages.
     
  8. Re: In layman's terms: what does the term "in layman's terms" mean?

    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.
     
  9. Pythagorean

    Pythagorean 4,609
    Gold Member

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

    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.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share a link to this question via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Similar discussions for: In layman's terms: what does the term in layman's terms mean?
Loading...