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Posted by ESC on February 12, 2000

In Reply to: Cup of joe??? where does this phrase come from? posted by Bruce Kahl on February 10, 2000

: : where does the phrase "cup of joe" come from in reference to getting a cup of coffee?

: All I have is a passel of bigtime maybes:
: It may be a variant of "java," also a popular term for coffee since the 19th century, when the island of Java in Indonesia was a major source of the world's coffee.

: There is/was a company here in NY named Martinson's Coffee which was owned by a man named Joe Martinson. The whole neighborhood would have the fantastic aroma of coffee roasting and there came the name a cup of joe.

: Maybe the term started in the US Navy when Admiral Josephus Daniels outlawed alcohol, except for special occasions. So the sailors switched to coffee and asked for a "cup of Joe".

I have nothing to add about a cuppa, but "Listen to America" has a long list of the uses of the word "Joe" in our language. I thought that was mildly interesting.