The Man is in the house!


Senior Member
Dear all,
Could you please help me out with a difficulty in the novel by Dennis Lehane 'Gone, Baby, Gone'?

“Damn!” Cheese reared back on his heels. “You brought yourself the law with you. The Man is in the house!” he shouted. “In da house. Poole and…”-he snapped his fingers-“Broussard. Right? Thought you boys left Narco.”

Context: Cheese is a name of a convict. Three detectives come to visit him in jail. One of them is Cheese's former classmate, the two others (Poole and Broussard) are from the police. Cheese is of Scandinavian origin but he thinks himself Afro-American and speaks like heroes of Blaxploatation cinema epoch. Cheese calls one of the policemen 'Man'. There is something here I don't understand. I saw the phrase '…in da house' in an add of some TV show in Moscow subway some years ago but it does not ring a bell for me. What is the meaning of 'the house' here? Is it prison?
  • PaulQ

    English - England
    to be in the house = to be here to the speaker's advantage; to be present in the same building or area to the speaker's advantage.

    Urban Dictionary: in the house: "Indicates favorably the arrival of a person, thing or idea to any location."
    Ladies and gentlemen, get up on your feet and make some noise because BOBBY BROWN is in the house.

    Other possibilities:

    1. In da house (possible but less likely.)
    An exclamation used as a compliment, especially if the person is considered very knowledgeable and has helped a person out in some way with little difficulty doing so.
    A man helps a woman open a stuck jar through some clever means, she would declare: "That was easy! You in da house man!"

    3. in da house (possible but less likely.)
    Incarcerated; imprisoned in the slammer or clink.
    In da house = in jail, prison or similar.


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    "The Man" refers to a law enforcement officer. "The Man is in the house..." would be a shouted warning to others that there is a cop in the building.


    Senior Member
    I see. I guess Cheese's words are emotionally coloured. He shouts as if with joy: 'Look, who has come! What men!' It matches the meaning from the urban dictionary, does it not?


    Senior Member
    English - American
    Cheese is speaking satirically. He is announcing loudly that the police are here. Since he is in jail, there is nothing news-worthy about the appearance of three more policemen, but he is pretending that it is. He is making fun of the three detectives.
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