1

I have heard the expression 'working for the man' a lot. Mostly in podcasts made in the US.

What does that mean?

Does it express an opinion about the employer? Something along the lines of big, inhuman company?

closed as off-topic by mplungjan, Kris, Edwin Ashworth, FumbleFingers, choster Aug 6 '14 at 14:46

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – mplungjan, Kris, Edwin Ashworth, FumbleFingers, choster
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2

Yes, that's essentially correct. See The Man for more.

"The Man" is a slang phrase that may refer to the government or to some other authority in a position of power. In addition to this derogatory connotation, it may also serve as a term of respect and praise.

The phrase "the Man is keeping me down" is commonly used to describe oppression. The phrase "stick it to the Man" encourages resistance to authority, and essentially means "fight back" or "resist", either passively, openly or via sabotage. (Wikipedia)

Stick it to the man is the idiom I'm most familiar with, but there are others. Working for the man in context might mean for a corporation, the government or other oppressive groups. Save the Hammer for the Man is a song title about oppression.

0

According to Wikipedia, The Man is

a slang phrase that may refer to the government or to some other authority in a position of power

so working for the man would mean working for the state or some large and powerful corporation. It usually carries with it the connotation that the speaker is being exploited or oppressed, or otherwise done down.

See also the Urban Dictionary (not always an unimpeachable source).

0

Working for the man: (slang expression):

  • Usually refers to the "establishment", the boss, the white guy, white collar, government, etc., (Depends on who says it, but it's basically all of the above and more)

  • Performing a task, manual labor, or any type of assigned duty for an unappreciative, disrespectful person or organization for money.

    Dude, are you still working for the man? Man, don't let the man get you down!

"The Man":

  • is a slang phrase that may refer to the government or to some other authority in a position of power. In addition to this derogatory connotation, it may also serve as a term of respect and praise.

The phrase "the Man is keeping me down" is commonly used to describe oppression. The phrase "stick it to the Man" encourages resistance to authority, and essentially means "fight back" or "resist", either passively, openly or via sabotage.

Source: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man Source:http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=working+for+the+man

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.