Why is a cup of coffee called “a cup of Joe?” (Asked by a slang coffee drinker.)
Reply: There is no way to actually determine how the slang “a cup of Joe” originated. Etymologists (people who study words and phrases) suggest that the term “Joe” refers to the common man, as in “a regular Joe.” Coffee is the common man’s drink, so Joe is related to a cup of coffee. I like the common man theory — a common Joe.
There are other coffee terms besides “a cup of Joe.” There’s “a cup of java” or “a cup of jamoke.” These probably refer to Java and Mocha. Originally, the best coffee was grown on the island of Java in Indonesia. Mocha, a port on the Red Sea, was an early marketplace for coffee. You also have “a cup of mud.” It probably results from coffee drinkers who take cream, when the coffee turns to a color similar to mud.
Speaking of Joe, how about GI Joe? The initials were originally used to indicate galvanized iron (iron coated with zinc). Before WWII, the initials indicated military “government issue.” There was GI soap, GI shoes, etc. Then, there was a GI soldier (GI Joe), which was shortened to the common term for soldiers — GI’s.
I’m using these alerts to pass on something I’ve learned, having been ignorant of the subject. How many times have you pulled on a roll of aluminum foil or plastic wrap and the whole roll comes out of the box? I’ve done it many times and get rather peeved. Well, if you look on the ends of the box, you will find perforated tabs you can push in that will hold the roll in place inside the box. I just learned this, having been ignorant of their existence for a long time.
C.P.S. (Curious Postscript): The only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions, running down their friends, sidestepping responsibility and pushing their luck.