Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceTrivia · 1 decade ago

Who's John Doe and Jane Smith?

How did they come about?

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    JOHN / JANE DOE are common generic names used in the USA primarily in legal actions if a person's true identity is not known, as well as corpses or hospital emergency room patients whose identity isn't known (in the case of infants, BABY DOE is used). If more than one person of the same family are involved, then names like JAMES DOE, JUDY DOE, etc. are used. An equivalent name used in court cases is RICHARD / JANE ROE, as in the landmark Supreme Court abortion case "Roe vs Wade."

    Widely used in the US, this custom is rarely seen in other English-speaking countries, even though the JOHN DOE / RICHARD ROE custom dates back to England's King Edward III and a case called "Acts of Ejectment". This involved a hypothetical landowner named who leased land to another fictitious man named Roe who took the land as his own and then ejected/ evicted "poor John Doe." The terms DOE & ROE also refer to names given to members of the deer family ("doe" is a female deer, and "roe" is a type of deer found in England).

    In state level court cases, female defendants with unknown identities are known as JANE DOE, and in federal cases as MARY MAJOR.

    JOHN / JANE SMITH are generic names given to the "average person" . JOHN / JANE are common English first names, and SMITH is the most common last name.

    Source(s): Wikipedia search
  • 4 years ago

    John Doe Smith

  • 1 decade ago

    John/Jane Doe: generally used as a placeholder name for a party in a legal action or legal discussion whose true identity is unknown.

    John Smith is a name often regarded as the archetype of a common personal name, a generic name sometimes representing "everyman" or "the average person." In the US and UK, John has historically been one of the most common male first names, and Smith is the most common last name.

    there's also "Joe Bloggs" same as John Smith but it more commen in UK

  • 1 decade ago

    John Doe is a name given to an unidentified person.

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  • Bruce
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Wikipedia has information on the origin of John Doe (unidentified male) and Jane Doe (unidentified female).

    Jane Smith is an actual person.

    If this or another answer here proves helpful in your research, you can encourage good answers by choosing one answer as the "best answer."



  • 1 decade ago

    Random pseudonyms taken on by the persona of many figures.

  • 1 decade ago

    No One :)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My noisey next door neghbors.

  • BC
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    who's that>?

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