Where did the names "John Doe" & Jane Doe come from?

4 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    John Doe and Richard Roe (the standard names for anonymous defendants and plaintiffs) traditionally come from ejectment proceedings, basically the forerunners of possession proceedings in civil case law. Jane Doe came into usage when specifically referring to an anonymous or fictitious female.

    However, the usage of a generic name (such as John Doe, John Smith, Boy A) for anonymous or unknown persons in court proceedings is a fairly widespread phenomenon, you can check out a country-specific list of this phenomenon at the link below. One of the earliest usages were the ancient Romans Numerius Negidus (literally, one who denies he should pay) as we recognize a defendant and Aulus Agerius (a play on the verb *ago*, to put into motion) as a plaintiff.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 3 years ago

    initially used from the 13th century on criminal documents as an alias to guard a witness, John Doe obtained the sense of "trouble-free individual" contained in the 1800s. The variations date from the 1900s. Jane doe extra later

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    these names were designated to unidentified bodies because they sound like a very common names, very few people actually have that name though, so when a body is refered to as a john doe, people dont mistake it for someone they know or some other living person. i think.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    from the crack of your butt.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.