phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|


Posted by Joey on February 16, 2000

In Reply to: Joe posted by ESC on February 12, 2000

it was suggested to me by a friend that perhaps the term "joe" is also in reference to an early 1900s racial term "black joe." could it be that "cup of joe" is a derivation on a racial slur from early the 1900s?

: : : 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.