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Johnny-on-the-spot

Posted by R. Berg on August 26, 2001

In Reply to: PHRASE posted by T WILLIAMS on August 26, 2001

: WHERE DID "JOHNNY ON THE SPOT" COME FROM?

The Dictionary of American Slang says it's been around since about 1895 but gives no further explanation of its origin. The name John and its relatives (Jacques, Jack, Johnny . . . ) turn up in many phrases to mean an unspecified male, as in John Doe.