John Doe, Joe Bloggs and Fred Nerk

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John Doe is a name used in American English to denote a hypothetical, average man. John Doe is often used for an anonymous party in a legal action. The name for a hypothetical, average woman is Jane Doe. Other names for average hypothetical American men are Joe Blow, Joe Schmoe, John Q. Public and Joe Sixpack, the latter referring to a blue collar worker. Joe Bloggs is the name for a hypothetical British man, as is John SmithFred Nerk is the name for a hypothetical Australian man, as is Joe Blow, Joe Bloggs and John Citizen. In New Zealand, the term for a hypothetical man is Joe Bloggs, Joe Blow or John Doe. In Canada, the hypothetical man is referred to as John Jones or Jos Bleau.

John Doe, Joe Bloggs, Fred Nerk and the other names are terms for anonymous characters. There are many situations where one may need to use an ambiguous name. 1.) Legal actions in which the plaintiff or defendant must be kept anonymous 2.) Unidentified bodies 3.) Referring to an abandoned infant whose parents are not identified 4.) When talking about the average American, Englishman or Australian 5.) As an example when instructing how to fill out a form


Atlanta hospital trying to ID severely beaten ‘John Doe’ patient (The Atlanta Journal Constitution)

As law enforcement officials appeared to have scored a break in the Massachusetts case, people in Maine remain haunted by one of the longest unsolved child killings on the books: the case of an infant known as Baby Jane Doe. (The Los Angeles Times)

“Even with our experience…we still get taken by surprise. So what chance does the average Joe Bloggs have?” (The New Zealand Herald)

Mike Krukow doesn’t tell us, “Umpire Joe Blow used to consistently call strikes on pitches 6 inches off the plate, but he has worked to fix that and it’s no longer a problem.” (The San Francisco Chronicle)

“The average John Citizen would have to believe them and would probably put up with a slow connection for the next few years until one day we get NBN,” he said. (The Morning Bulletin)