What are ‘layman’s terms’?
The simple or basic level.
Layman’s terms are the most basic explanation for a concept, and is often used as a teaching tool. It can be helpful when introducing others to new concepts, to the idea of science itself (especially with children), or to get people up on their feet in an emergency situation (such as fire safety). Some other examples include “What does this button do?” said in layman’s terms might mean “This button opens your garage door,” while using technical language may specify how it works and what it does instead.
Layman is a contraction of the words lay and man. In order to use ‘layman’s terms’, you need to be at the same level as the person you are doing it for so that they can understand what you are talking about.
A layperson uses their observations, skills, and experiences in profession or hobby outside an area of formal education (like medicine) to give advice or make judgments without being duly qualified in this area. The term is mostly used when discussing matters pertaining to health care because health care needs to be understood by every citizen regardless of their formal education, which makes it important for doctors providing care not to talk over people’s heads but rather explain topics using plain language and have patience with those who don’t understand.
So, when we use ‘layman’s terms’, we are trying to explain something in a way that is easier to understand and not talk over people’s heads. It means you need to dumb down your explanation so the person you’re talking with can comprehend it.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t use ‘layman’s terms’ very often in my writing. The majority of my writing is for other medical professionals who need a higher level of detail or specificity. It’s not that using layman’s terms would take more effort, because it doesn’t – it has the same amount of time and energy to create for both cases. When thinking about why I typically don’t include them, there are two main reasons: First reason is because I’m trying to preserve the niceties of terminology that typically exists within an academic environment; and second, when people do email me with specific questions they want me to answer in layman’s terms, then those are just converted into posts themselves.
“In layman’s terms” is a phrase that means “in simple terms.”
It’s the same as speaking plainly or saying it in simpler language. The idea behind in layman’s terms phrases is to explain things in a way that even more average members of the population will likely find understandable, avoiding jargon, and being more responsive to any people with disabilities who happen to be present.
When you’re talking about “layman’s terms”, you can stop using such technical language, and start speaking in plain English.
It’s like when your mother speaks with you over the phone. She doesn’t use all of her words because she knows that while you may have an extensive vocabulary, not everyone does. In other words, layman’s terms are easier for people who don’t know a lot about a subject to understand.
“Layman’s terms are the words used by nonprofessionals.”
It means “words that a person who doesn’t know about the topic but wants to has enough knowledge and comprehension of it for them to understand.”
A layperson is someone who does not have a specialized degree in an area. When it comes to medicine, they’re considered at an entry-level or novice level, and one would assume, therefore, that they’d use layman’s terms.
Someone without access to these words might find themselves struggling with their medical issues eternally as no expert was there to help because people at other levels—those with higher degrees–may not be able to do so.
Doctors are the only people who can properly diagnose and treat you, but they may not always be able to speak to you in your language. This is where lay terminology comes into play.
To most people, layman’s terms mean using words they understand when talking about an issue that they don’t have much knowledge of. But, it’s also used to reduce confusion by summarizing complicated topics into simpler concepts that are easier for the general population to understand.
The term is also commonly referred to in medicine and science, but can be used with other disciplines as well.
Layman’s terms are most often used to make a complicated subject easier to understand, more accessible, and less intimidating through readily understandable terms and concepts rather than technical jargon. A layman is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as: “[a]n ordinary person who lacks special knowledge or training.”
“Layman’s terms” are simple terms that a layperson, i.e., not an expert in the field, can understand.
A simple answer that a person can understand without technical knowledge.
Often times there are terms of specialized terminology that experts will use in their industry, which people outside the industry may not know what it is called. This term “layman’s” is what experts might say to refer to the general public not having access to this information. In other words, the laymen should be able to understand this because it is intended for them.