[Ads-l] cup of joe (1928)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 29 15:59:36 UTC 2015


While concurring that "joe" was popularized in the USN and USMC (as the
HDAS citations suggest), I'm extremely skeptical that the name of Josephus
Daniels had much to do with it.

Daniels banned alcohol, including beer, from navy ships in 1914.  "Old
Black Joe" was already in print three years previously.  I would expect
that if USN/USMC "joe" came from his name, the term would have appeared in
naval print before the 1920s.

When I was searching one zillion pages of WW1 writing for slang, I fully
expected to find "joe" in  print in 1917-1919 owing to its universality a
generation later.

But I didn't.  If Daniels was the inspiration, odds are the word would have
been fairly familiar by the end of the war and would have been commented on
as well as recorded.  But no example of actual early or even memorial usage
associated with World War 1 is findable.  I didn't find any,  for example,
in the pages of popular-oriented publications like _Our Navy_ and _The
American Legion Weekly_ (later _Monthly_).

In fact, the word only becomes frequent in print in any context during
World War 2 - which is quite consistent with a long under-the-counter
percolation period as the humorous "Old Black Joe."

 JL

On Sat, Aug 29, 2015 at 8:45 AM, Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: cup of joe (1928)
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Maybe, maybe not.
> Ben's 1928 Marine citation, imo, adds to the Navy possibility. (My Father,
> =
> USNA class of 1940, I imagine, might have agreed.)
>
> Stephen Goranson
> http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/
>
>
> ________________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society ... on behalf of Jonathan Lighter ...
> Sent: Friday, August 28, 2015 4:52 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] cup of joe (1928)
>
> The punning aptness of "Old Black Joe" as the origin does not prove that it
> in fact was, but surely it is to be preferred until something at least as
> persuasive comes along.
>
> The suggested alternatives strike me as far-fetched.
>
> JL
>
> On Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 8:40 AM, Stephen Goranson ...wrote:
>
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society ...
> > Poster:       Stephen Goranson ...
> > Subject:      Re: cup of joe (1928)
> >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> ------
> >
> > I don't claim to know the origin or origins of "cup of joe," and I posted
> > t=3D
> > wo quotes with an exceedingly faint introduction.
> >
> > Having had my morning tea caffeine, and preparing to write something on a
> > m=3D
> > ore important subject (a fake manuscript) I would like to say I surely
> > don'=3D
> > t consider the Princetonian the "origin." But, if we consider that
> you/Be=
> n
> > =3D
> > showed the phrase was known by some in 1928, it may be possible that the
> > De=3D
> > an's 1927 "wit" included referring to the brewer by his first name Joe
> > only=3D
> >  (though his last name was available)--unlike the "Joe Martin's" 1914
> > quote=3D
> > . Sure, it's quite iffy, but not something utterly dismissable, imo.
> >
> > The second quote is also weak, unless the Jamocha orgin theory and/or the
> > J=3D
> > osephus Daniels' origin theory has merit. After all, it was a policy of
> > Jos=3D
> > ephus Daniels (possibly associated by some with coffee and less alcohol)
> > th=3D
> > at his-- Navy--successor overturned. In 1921. Again, quite iffy. But,
> > calcu=3D
> > lus-wise, iffy ain't necessarily nuttin. Until or unless we know better.
> >
> >
> > Stephen
> >
> > On Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 9:56 AM, Stephen Goranson wrote:
> > >
> > > Two texts [both at GB] that might possibly be relevant, even if not
> > neces=3D
> > sarily
> > > of great help:
> > >
> > > 1927  Feb. 18 (though GB says 1926) Princeton Alumni Weekly v. XXVII n.
> > 1=3D
> > 9
> > > p. 564 col. 2-3
> > > "Speaking of Restaurateur Joe, that gentleman recently advertised that
> > he=3D
> >  had
> > > a brand of coffee, one cup of which would keep an exam-harrassed
> studen=
> t
> > > awake all night. Dean Gauss commented on this with characteristic wit
> i=
> n
> > =3D
> > the
> > > next day's Princetonian. He suggested that each morning throughout the
> > > academic year "a full cup of Joe's waking potion be administered 'to
> > ever=3D
> > y
> > > undergraduate in good standing.' The Dean, no doubt, has some morning
> > > lectures."
> >
> > This one was also recently discovered by Bill Rabara, who has
> > suggested it's the origin of "joe" =3D3D 'coffee':
> >
> > https://plus.google.com/116787953580208997251/posts/VKYRjC4udXz
> >
> > (It was this suggestion that got me looking for other early cites.)
> >
> > I don't think the Princetonian's "full cup of Joe's waking potion" is
> > anything more than coincidental. Here's another red herring, involving
> > a different coffee-brewing Joe from New Jersey:
> >
> > Jersey Journal (Jersey City, NJ), Dec. 4, 1914, p. 8, col. 1
> > [GenealogyBank=3D
> > ]
> > "Cop's Coffee Did the Trick: Stranger Who Wanted to Sober Up Landed a
> > Cup of Joe Martin's Brew"
> >
> > (Patrolman Joseph Martin was head cook of the Seventh Street police
> > station in Jersey City.)
> >
> >  "Marines in Nicaragua Gluttons for Punishment"
> > > _Riverside (Calif.) Daily Press_, Oct. 31, 1928, p. 6, col. 3
> > [GenealogyB=3D
> > ank]
> > > Frank J. Hicks, whose parents reside at 324 Eucalyptus avenue, this
> > > city, and who is with the U.S.S. New Mexico's detachment of marines,
> > > now stationed in Chinendega, Nicaragua, gives his version of a
> > > marine's experiences in the southern republic in the following lines,
> > > headed, "Leather Necks in Nicaragua":
> > > "I will print you a few lines
> > > To let you in on the news.
> > > Far from the seashores of Nicaragua,
> > > Into the jungles we go,
> > > Wading the mud and cursing our luck,
> > > Wishing to God it would snow.
> > > We stop wet with sweat
> > > And wring out our shirts,
> > > Throw off our packs
> > > And sleep in the dirt.
> > > Can't go to sleep
> > > Because the mosquitoes bite.
> > > We have to let them
> > > Because we are too tired to fight.
> > > Wake up in the morning
> > > To drink a cup of Joe,
> > > Throw on our packs
> > > For the same old go.
> > > Wade mud to our knees,
> > > Sometimes to the neck;
> > > Makes you think of your home
> > > In the U.S., by heck!
> > > Welcome to a place
> > > About forty feet square;
> > > The boys stretch their necks
> > > And come up for air.
> > > The skipper says, 'Boys,
> > > Put up the camp'
> > > And we all got sick
> > > Because the ground was damp.
> > > I will put out the lights
> > > And call it the end.
> > > If you don't believe this story,
> > > Try and make Bend."
> >
>
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