A new equivalent of "Joe Blow"?

Mon Jan 3 20:13:39 UTC 2005

        In this early use from 1932, "Joe Blow" was used as a pseudonym by a bootlegger during Prohibition:

<<At the time of the seizure of the car and the arrest of defendant, Vito Luppino, the officers took from his person a receipted invoice covering a purchase by one 'Joe Blow' of 480 square five-gallon cans with 1 3/4 inch screw caps from the American Can Company of Portland, Or. When the officers raided the still in Yakima, Wash., they found two or three hundred square five-gallon cans with 1 3/4 inch screw caps similar to the ones that were delivered under the above-mentioned invoice.>>

Cody v. United States, 73 F.2d 180, 183 (9th Cir. 1934).  Luppino was arrested on January 16, 1932, so the invoice would have been signed shortly before that time.

        Note that, while this shows that "Joe Blow" was in use by 1932, it also shows that the fake name was sufficiently unusual that members of the underworld were willing to use it to cover their tracks (though, in hindsight, Luppino might have been better advised to call himself John Smith).

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
Of Jonathan Lighter
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 12:43 PM
Subject: Re: A new equivalent of "Joe Blow"?

The Net seemsto offer no legitimate exx. of "Blomee" as a surname.  I did discover half a dozen or more instances of "Joe Blow-me" as a synonym for "Joe Blow."

It may be that some users of "Joe Blow-me" do not feel that the term is objectionable.

HDAS examples of "Joe Blow" begin in the early '40s (unless Ben or Bill can push it back further). There is no evidence, but one is now led to wonder how many early users found it, too, to be "unprintably" vulgar.


"Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Douglas G. Wilson"
Subject: Re: A new equivalent of "Joe Blow"?

Forwarded from Gerald Cohen:


[for ads-l]

Here's at least a partial answer to Doug Wilson's query about people named
Blomee: We must be aware of the names containing a double entendre. The
supposed "Haywood U. Blomee" is really "Hey, would you blow me" and "Hugo
N. Blomee" is "You go and blow me." Now, with red flags popping up for
"Blomee" in these two cases, maybe "Christina Blomee" contains a similar
hidden salacious message. My immediate suspicion: "Christina, blow me in
Khao Lak." Of course the journalist didn't introduce this salacious
message; s/he merely found it somewhere, and accepted it at face value.

If "Blomee" is a frequent surname, I'll reconsider my last suggestion.

Gerald Cohen


-- Doug Wilson

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