Why Do We Call Coffee "A Cup of Joe"?

Why Do We Call Coffee "A Cup of Joe"?

Have you ever wondered why we call coffee "a cup of joe"? Where did this nickname originate? Most importantly, who is this Joe, and why do I want a cup of him? All joking aside, coffee is the 2nd most beloved drink to have right after water. We all have a unique connection to it. The origin of the "cup of Joe" is still a bit of a mystery. Let's dive into some of those theories on where this possible nickname originated.

The US Navy

This nickname for coffee has been around a very long time. The origins are still very mysterious to everyone, and several theories have been brought up. However, none of these theories is a definitive answer to our question. So how does a cup of Joe connect to the American Navy?

Some believe that a "cup of joe" comes from the 1914 ban on alcohol on the US Navy ships that were imposed by the Secretary of the Navy Josephus "Joe" Daniels. Upon his order to ban alcohol at the beginning of World War I, the only strongest drink a sailor could get on a ship was coffee. The theory claims that the angry sailors towards the ban would begin to call coffee a "cup of Joe" in protest to the ban. However, this theory cast doubt by historians because alcohol was not widely available on Navy ships before the ban anyways.

The Common Mans Drink

So the theory that "cup of Joe" came from the ban of alcohol on Navy ships is not very compelling. Another view, however, that this nickname originated from is the name itself Joe is a slang word for ordinary fellow or everyday guy. This is because coffee is considered to be the common man's drink. This would make sense because coffee being so popular and cheap for just a black coffee anyone could have possibly afforded to buy a cup without spending a lot of money.

Java and Jamoke?

Another theory that comes up is that "joe" is a short version of two words put together, java, and jamoke. Jamoke is also another combination of words that came from java and mocha. This theory can make sense even when we think about it today. Teens everywhere always like to shorten words or phrases. Take, for instance, YOLO (You only live once). So it would make sense that Joe was a shortened way to say Jomoke, which is the combination of java and mocha. I mean, I don't know about you, "cup of joe" sounds better than "cup of jamoke."

Will We Ever Know the Truth?

Which theory do you think is right? Is there another theory out there that we haven't covered? Which one do you believe? Let us know in the comments, follow us on our special media and share what you think.

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