Posted by Kit on July 16, 2003
In Reply to: John Hancock posted by Phil on July 16, 2003
: I was in a pub the other day when I was required to sign a receipt for my food. The barman asked me to put my 'John Hancock' on the dotted line. I'd never heard this as an expression for a signature before and was wondering whether anyone knew where it came from?
The expression 'put your John Hancock here' refers to one of the officials who signed the Declaration of Independence, named John Hancock. He immediately became famous for signing the Declaration with a far larger signature than all the other delegates. The actual expression however didn't come into use until c.1903.