Why are people with no name/id called John/Jane Doe?

Why are men named John Doe and women Jane Doe when they have no ID or are unknown. Why is this particular name used? and who started the term and why?

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    It is used because of its generic sense. John Doe

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    For other uses, see John Doe (disambiguation).

    The name John Doe is generally used in the United States as a placeholder name for a male party in a legal action or legal discussion whose true identity is unknown. Male corpses or emergency room patients whose identity is unknown are also known by the name John Doe. A female who is not known is referred to as Jane Doe. A child or baby whose identity is unknown can be referred to as Baby Doe or, in one particular case, as Precious Doe. Additional people in the same family may be called James Doe, Judy Doe, etc. Widely used in the United States of America, though rarely used in other English-speaking countries.

    The Doe names are often, though not always, used for anonymous or unknown defendants. Another set of names often used for anonymous parties, particularly plaintiffs, are Richard Roe for males and Jane Roe for females (as in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court abortion decision Roe v. Wade). The Oxford English Dictionary states that John Doe is "the name given to the fictitious lessee of the plaintiff, in the (now obsolete) mixed action of ejectment, the fictitious defendant being called Richard Roe". Likewise, the Nuttall Encyclopaedia states that John O'Noakes or John Noakes is a fictitious name for a litigious person, used by lawyers in actions of ejectment. Other names such as include Joe Bloggs.

  • 1 decade ago

    The last name "doe" refers to an anomalous plantiff (or defendant) in English common law. The "John/Jane" was very common, not likely to confuse people with a particular person. The use of "Doe" allowed for certain legal actions to be taken without either knowing or revealing a persons name in order for justice to continue.

    It is also unlikely that anyone would be named John/Jane Doe due to this. Of course I actually know two people that are father and son who's name is "Jack Frost" so some idiot might actually NAME their kid John/Jane Doe. Go figure.

  • 1 decade ago

    The name John Doe is generally used in the United States as a placeholder name for a male party in a legal action or legal discussion whose true identity is unknown. Male corpses or emergency room patients whose identity is unknown are also known by the name John Doe. A female who is not known is referred to as Jane Doe. A child or baby whose identity is unknown can be referred to as Baby Doe or, in one particular case, as Precious Doe. Additional people in the same family may be called James Doe, Judy Doe, etc. Widely used in the United States of America, though rarely used in other English-speaking countries.

  • 1 decade ago

    There was this legal debate in old England regarding the Acts of Ejectment involving a hypothetical landowner named John Doe who leased a piece of land to an equally hypothetical man, named Richard Roe, who then claimed the land his own and ejected John Doe.

    And if im right it dates back all the way to the 1300's. so based on those circumstances the name stuck.

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  • 1 decade ago

    because there was a man John Doe [had a wife jane] whose corpse was found. they never knew the dead body was his until MANY years later. So now when they dnt know the identification of someone, they will all them john or jane doe.

  • 1 decade ago

    John and Jane were simply chosen as common forenames, and as the term was initially generally used for unidentified corpses, the 'Doe' bit is from the phonetic prononciation of DOA (Dead on arrival).

  • 1 decade ago

    ive never heard of it before,

    and if they are John doe they are not unknown they are quite obviously John doe!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Old English law did this.

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't really know. I think itis gay. They should make something differnt!!!!! Like Jimmie or something cool!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    DOE-NO.

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