Why is coffee called a cup of joe?


Can you taste the difference when you call your coffee Joe? Etymology has revealed that the world of vocabulary is filled with astonishing slang terms that were adapted by ordinary people. These words usually originate as the short form of the original word like; the pro from professionals or proficient or they are simply acronyms. But surprisingly there are several slang words which do not correspond to their original word and have very beautiful backgrounds. One such term is ‘Joe’ which is used in place of the world’s most consumed beverage COFFEE.

view from coffee shop to rainy street

Once we call it Java to compliment the Indonesian abundance of coffee production but now it’s Joe.

Coffee and Josephus Daniel

A theory states that Joe refers to Josephus Daniels, former Secretary of the US Navy. It sounds strange to correlate a military official with this addictive drink. The story behind the metaphor reveals that Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the US Navy under President Woodrow Wilson., banned alcohol on Navy ships, during World War I. The crew was only allowed to drink a strong cup of coffee. The men were unhappy and to mock their chief they called their cup of Coffee – A . This concept was the most acceptable reason to call coffee a cup of Joe, as a short name for Josephus however, this logic doesn’t seem valid because there is no evidence of the reality of “cup of Joe” until 1930, 16 years after the wine ban.

The script from ‘biography of Daniels’ by author Lee Craig explains the origin of the slang term.

The original writing from the biography stated that:

“As a substitute, stewards increased their purchases of coffee, among other beverages, and Daniels’s name became linked to the daily drink of millions around the world. A cup of coffee became disparagingly known as ‘a cup of Joseph Daniels,’ and as legend has it, this was soon shortened to a ‘cup of Joe.”

woodedn chest writing on it good morning

The Common Man Concept:

Some linguistic experts suggest that the word Joe refer to an average man or a simple soldier and Joe is the drink of the common man. Moreover, it could be possible that Joe is used as slang for coffee to protest against Daniel’s decision, who was an average newspaper publisher in North Carolina, before becoming the secretary of the US Navy.

Java ad Jamoke Logic:

Another probable cause of naming coffee as Joe directs towards the terms Java and Jamoke. Java has supplied the highest quality coffee around the globe in 1930’s. Jamoke is a basically a combination of Java and Mocha. This word was originated at the end of the nineteenth century to synonymies coffee and was earlier written as Jamocha. Therefore; it might be possible that the term Joe was derived from the words Java and Jamoke as an amalgamation of the two expressions.

Whatever is the reason to call coffee by several names in the world but all that jazz you name it ‘A rose is a rose’ and a cup of coffee is a cup of absolute contentment.

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