Joe Bloggs: Everyman and Nobody

The latest in my ‘Learn Something New Every Day’ blog series which I started doing when I began to even bore myself at dinner parties… Taken from The Great Courses’ Trails of Evidence – How Forensic Science Works lecture series (Lecture 21 Autopsy)

Today I discovered where the phrase ‘Joe Bloggs’ comes from (as in ‘I’m not going to let just any Joe Bloggs into my building’). In Britain, Australia and New Zealand, ‘Joe Bloggs’ is used as a stand-in for ‘John Doe’ which is popular in the US and—like the US—it is given to a body that is unidentified. A placeholder name. But it has also come to mean a ‘regular Joe’. An everyman.

So poor old Joe is simultaneously everyone and no-one.

(As an aside, in India, the name used is ‘Ashok Kumar’. Now THERE’S a book character waiting to be written. [Thanks for that one, Wikipedia])

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