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Related to john: John Deere, John Nash

John Thomas

slang A man's penis. Primarily heard in UK. The footballer lay on the ground in agony after being struck in the John Thomas by a defender's foot.
See also: john, Thomas

stage-door Johnny

A man who spends a lot of time at a theater so as to seek the romantic attention, favor, or company of an actress. Ms. Gabler is such a stunning beauty that she always has some stage-door Johnny or another waiting for her after the curtain falls each night.
See also: johnny

Dear John letter

A letter sent, typically from a woman to a man, to end a romantic relationship. Mike was clearly upset when he received a Dear John letter from his girlfriend, Caroline. He thought their relationship was going well and didn't expect it to end so suddenly. Mail call was usually a happy time in the military barracks, except for the unlucky soldiers who got Dear John letters from their sweethearts back home.
See also: dear, john, letter

put (one's) John Hancock on

To sign one's name on a document or other item. John Hancock, an influential figure in the American Revolution, is known for his especially large and legible signature on the Declaration of Independence. As soon as you put your John Hancock on these papers, you'll be the proud owner of a brand new car! I would never have put my John Hancock on such an unfavorable contract—I think my signature was forged.
See also: Hancock, john, on, put

Joe Public

Typical, ordinary, average people; the public at large. Primarily heard in UK, Ireland. For any new piece of technology to succeed in the market these days, it has to be easy for Joe Public to pick up and use. She isn't well liked amongst other politicians, but Joe Public absolutely adores her.
See also: joe, public

John Bull

A caricature personifying typical English people, especially an English man, or England as a whole. Primarily heard in US. The character is a very clear John Bull, symbolizing British colonialism at its worst.
See also: bull, john

John Q Public

Typical, ordinary, average people; the public at large. For any new piece of technology to succeed in the market these days, it has to be easy for John Q Public to pick up and use.
See also: john, public

a Dear John letter

a letter a woman writes to her boyfriend telling him that she does not love him anymore. Bert got a Dear John letter today from Sally. He was devastated.
See also: dear, john, letter

one's John Henry

 and one's John Hancock
one's signature. Just put your John Henry on this line, and we'll bring your new car around.
See also: henry, john

cheap skate

A stingy person, as in He's a real cheap skate when it comes to tipping. This idiom combines cheap (for "penurious") with the slang usage of skate for a contemptible or low individual. It has largely replaced the earlier cheap John. [Slang; late 1800s]
See also: cheap, skate

John Doe

1. Also, John Q. Public; Joe Blow; Joe Doakes; Joe Zilch. An average undistinguished man; also, the average citizen. For example, This television show is just right for a John Doe, or It's up to John Q. Public to go to the polls and vote. Originally used from the 13th century on legal documents as an alias to protect a witness, John Doe acquired the sense of "ordinary person" in the 1800s. The variants date from the 1900s. Also see Joe six-pack.
2. Also, Jane Doe. An unknown individual, as in The police found a John Doe lying on the street last night, or The judge issued a warrant for the arrest of the perpetrators, Jane Doe no. 1 and Jane Doe no. 2 . [Second half of 1900s]
See also: doe, john

John Hancock

Also, John Henry. One's signature, as in Just put your John Hancock on the dotted line. This expression alludes to John Hancock's prominent signature on the Declaration of Independence. The variant simply substitutes a common name for "Hancock." [Mid-1800s]
See also: Hancock, john

John Q. Public

see under John Doe.
See also: john, public

Joe Public


John Q Public

People say Joe Public to talk about ordinary people. I don't think Joe Public would be happy to pay me for much of what I do. John Q Public trusts you.
See also: joe, public

big John

n. the police; a police officer. Big John took her in and hit her with a vice rap.
See also: big, john

Dear John letter

n. a letter a woman writes to her boyfriend in the military service telling him that she does not love him anymore. Sally sends a Dear John letter about once a month.
See also: dear, john, letter


1. n. a toilet; a bathroom. Is there another john around here?
2. n. a man. This john came up and asked if I had seen the girl in a picture he had.
3. n. a prostitute’s customer. She led the john into an alley where Lefty robbed him.
4. n. a victim of a crime or deception; a sucker. The john went straight to the cops and told the whole thing.

John Doe

and Jane Doe (ˈdʒɑn ˈdo)
n. a name used for a person whose real name is unknown. The tag on the corpse said Jane Doe, since no one had identified her. John Doe was the name at the bottom of the check.
See also: doe, john

John Hancock

n. one’s signature. (Refers to the signature of John Hancock, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.) Put your John Hancock right here, if you don’t mind.
See also: Hancock, john

John(ny) Law

n. a law officer. John Law showed up with a piece of paper that says you are in trouble.
See also: johnny, law

John Law

See also: john, law

square john

and square apple
n. someone who obeys the rules; a square. Fred is a square john. There’s no point in worrying about him. I look like a square john, but I’m really quite a devil.
See also: john, square

square john broad

n. an honest, straightforward woman. (Underworld.) We need a square john broad to give this place a look of respectability.
See also: broad, john, square

who shot John

n. moonshine; illicit whiskey. (Prohibition.) You know where I can get a little of that who shot John?
See also: john, shot, who
References in classic literature ?
There comes John, and I must put this away,--he hates to have me write a word.
Prince John, indeed, and those who courted his pleasure by imitating his foibles, were apt to indulge to excess in the pleasures of the trencher and the goblet; and indeed it is well known that his death was occasioned by a surfeit upon peaches and new ale.
cursed Little John, and planted his feet resolutely in the earth resolved to sell the path dearly; for the soldiers were now so close upon him that he dared not turn.
In precisely the same spirit as a man may debate a project to ascend the Matterhorn or to cross Africa, John considered Alan's proposal, and, greatly daring, accepted it.
Thus he shouted, and all crowded around, laughing, while the brown ale flowed; and they called Little John a brave fellow, each swearing that he loved him as his own brother; for when one has entertainment with nothing to pay, one loves the man that gives it to one.
Would you like an adventure now," he said casually to John, "or would you like to have your tea first?
You see, Anne, I've always been awful fond of John.
Nor was it less agreeable to observe how John the Carrier, reference being made by Dot to the aforesaid baby, checked his hand when on the point of touching the infant, as if he thought he might crack it; and bending down, surveyed it from a safe distance, with a kind of puzzled pride, such as an amiable mastiff might be supposed to show, if he found himself, one day, the father of a young canary.
Later in the day a deputation of Rewa chiefs waited upon John Starhurst.
But although we know Sir John Mandeville was not English, that he never saw the places he describes, that indeed he never lived at all, we will still call him by that name.
But John Harned did not go to Quito for the bull-fight.
The subject of these remarks was a slumbering figure, so muffled in shawl and cloak, that it would have been matter of impossibility to guess at its sex but for a brown beaver bonnet and green veil which ornamented the head, and which, having been crushed and flattened, for two hundred and fifty miles, in that particular angle of the vehicle from which the lady's snores now proceeded, presented an appearance sufficiently ludicrous to have moved less risible muscles than those of John Browdie's ruddy face.
He was none of your flippant young fellows, who would call for a tankard of mulled ale, and make themselves as much at home as if they had ordered a hogshead of wine; none of your audacious young swaggerers, who would even penetrate into the bar--that solemn sanctuary--and, smiting old John upon the back, inquire if there was never a pretty girl in the house, and where he hid his little chambermaids, with a hundred other impertinences of that nature; none of your free-and-easy companions, who would scrape their boots upon the firedogs in the common room, and be not at all particular on the subject of spittoons; none of your unconscionable blades, requiring impossible chops, and taking unheard-of pickles for granted.
If Young John had ever slackened in his truth in the less penetrable days of his boyhood, when youth is prone to wear its boots unlaced and is happily unconscious of digestive organs, he had soon strung it up again and screwed it tight.
At least, Mr John Rokesmith was on the pier looking out, about a couple of hours before the coaly (but to him gold-dusty) little steamboat got her steam up in London.