- Used as a name in legal proceedings to designate an unknown man or boy or to protect the identity of a known man or boy.
- An average or ordinary man.
(plural John Does)
- A fictitious name used in the legal documents for an unknown or anonymous male person.
- (idiomatic) Any unknown or anonymous male person.
- 1885: i.e. "to Tom, Dick or Harry:" the names like John Doe and Richard Roe are used indefinitely in Arab. — The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Vol. 4 Footnote 5, Richard Burton