Last modified on 10 July 2014, at 17:38

cup of joe


Alternative formsEdit


Of uncertain origin. Possibly a shortening of "cup of jamoke", from Java + Mocha, whence the best coffee formerly derived. Alternatively, perhaps a use of joe (fellow, guy), signifying that coffee was the drink of the common man.

Another theory derives the term from Josephus Daniels (1862-1948), Secretary of the U.S. Navy; he abolished the officers' wine mess, whereafter coffee became the strongest drink available on navy ships. However, the term "cup of joe" predates the order banning the wine mess.[1]


cup of joe (plural cups of joe)

  1. (chiefly US, idiomatic) A cup of coffee.
    • 2008 April 9, James Poniewozik, Starbucks' New Brew: A First Taste, in Time:
      Pike Place is Starbucks' attempt to address complaints that its regular cup of joe is bitter, overroasted and "burnt."


  1. ^, quoting "Cup of joe" in Michael Quinion, Ballyhoo, Buckaroo, and Spuds, 2004.