JBH asked in Education & ReferenceTrivia · 1 decade ago

how did the they come up with the name John and Jane Doe for unidentified bodies?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The name John Doe has long been used by British courts to represent an unidentified party in a court case.

  • 4 years ago

    There was this felony debate in historic England with reference to the Acts of Ejectment regarding a hypothetical landowner named John Doe who leased a ingredient of land to an the two hypothetical guy, named Richard Roe, who then claimed the land his very own and ejected John Doe. those names -- John Doe and Richard Roe -- had no particular magnitude, different than for "Doe" (a woman deer) and "Roe" (a small species of deer desperate in Europe) being usually established nouns on the time. notwithstanding the controversy became a hallmark of licensed thought, and the identify "John Doe" in the main suitable option gained extensive distant places money in each and each the felony international and straightforward utilization as a familiar stand-in for any unnamed character. The custom of fictitious names comes from the Romans, who additionally had names that they extra often than now not used for fictitious events in courtroom circumstances. the two names maximum as a rule used have been Titius and Seius.

  • 1 decade ago

    The answer to your question was found "at The Word Detective, a treasure trove of etymological explanations written by syndicated columnist Evan Morris. Morris, in turn, says he discovered the origin of "John Doe" in a book called What's in a Name?, by Paul Dickson.

    The phrase is older than you might think. "John Doe" dates from the reign of England's King Edward III (1312-1377). A famous legal document from this period labels a hypothetical landowner "John Doe," who leases land to a "Richard Roe," who then claims the land as his own and kicks out poor John.

    The names don't have any particular relevance, other than the fact that a doe is a female deer, while a roe is a smaller species of deer. But the land dispute in question became a famous legal debate, and the names survived their circumstances.

    The online legal dictionary FindLaw defines John Doe as a "party to legal proceedings (as a suspect) whose true name is unknown or withheld." The female equivalent is Jane Doe or Mary Major. A second male suspect is dubbed Richard Roe, and subsequent ones are referred to as John Stiles and Richard Miles."

    Bonus trivia!:

    There are different names used in other countries. For example, in Germany it is common to see Hans/Max/Otto and Erika Mustermann or Otto Normalverbraucher. To see a more comprehensive list of Joe Doe equivalencies in other countries, visit:


  • They are very common names.

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  • 1 decade ago

    They are the relatives of "Uncle Sam" .

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