Where Did the Name “John Doe” For an Unidentified Person Come From and What Does it Mean?

“John Doe” is the name used to describe someone within legal circumstances when the real name is either unknown or protected by privacy laws.

The practice dates back to British courts in the early nineteenth century, when John and Jane Doe were used as names for unknown or unclear defendants in real estate eviction disputes.

“Doe” was an extremely rare name, and there is nothing to suggest that any real John Doe ever existed.

That’s how an unidentified person is referred to as “John Doe”.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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