Straw Man

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Straw Man

An individual who acts as a front for others who actually incur the expense and obtain the profit of a transaction.

In the terminology employed by real estate dealers, a straw man is an individual who acts as a conduit for convenience in holding and transferring title to the property involved. For example, such a person might act as an agent for another in order to take title to real property and execute whatever documents and instruments the principal directs with respect to the transaction.

straw man

n. 1) a person to whom title to property or a business interest is transferred for the sole purpose of concealing the true owner and/or the business machinations of the parties. Thus, the straw man has no real interest or participation but is merely a passive stand-in for a real participant who secretly controls activities. Sometimes a straw man is involved when the actual owner is not permitted to act, such as a person with a criminal record holding a liquor license. 2) an argument which is intended to distract the other side from the real issues or waste the opponent's time and effort, sometimes called a "red herring" (for the belief that drawing a fish across a trail will mislead hunting dogs).

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Hart's suit claims that the straw man owner defaults.
Every garden in the village will also sport its own life-size straw man or woman.
Straw-man purchases occur when a legal gun buyer purchases a firearm with the intent of passing it illegally to someone who is prohibited from buying or owning a gun; the penalty for acting as a straw man is up to 10 years in prison.
Such strong reductionism is simply a straw man, not an encroaching scientific agenda.
Develop specific functional goals for a storage network based data-mover and build a straw man architecture into which functional components can be layered.
A classic straw man is established at the end of Peterson's introduction, when he states that the "implicit question" fueling the passionate voucher debate is whether private schools are better than public education.
Frankly, I think we forget the advantages technology gives us and use it as a straw man argument against our industry-wide failure to adapt and make good business decisions.
Q WHERE does the phrase straw man in arguments come from?
The WPC didn't see the funny side when she spotted the 7ft tall straw man, called Les, pointing a speed gun - a plastic milk bottle.
The claim that there are scientific recommendations stating that exercise alone can do the trick is a straw man.
This also gave him a political straw man to hide behind.