JANE, JOHN, and DOE are all just common names in the world.
and, they're not only for unidentified dead bodies- they can also be used on people who have forgotten their memories and haven't been claimed by anyone.
No, these are not acronyms. It comes from back when people were first embarrassed by the thought of somebody catching their name from a floozie. So, whenever they went to a brothel, they would claim to be "John Doe". It eventually came to mean anyone without identification. Jane Doe is the female version of it.
it was cockney slang originally the informal way for naming an unknown corpse was a dear john or Jane in respect of the dead.over time dear was replaced with doe as in doe a dear a female dear.
This one actually written by Yahoo.
Monday September 23, 2002 Previous | Next
Why are unidentified people called John or Jane Doe?
We found the answer to your question 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.
* 2 years ago