John-henry meaning

One's signature.
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The hero, usually depicted as black, of an American ballad, who died after a contest pitting his strength with a sledge hammer against that of a steam drill.
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(idiomatic) One's signature.
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Origin of john-henry

Believed to be a Western United States cowboy variation (dating from the late 1700s or early 1800s) of John Hancock, the first person to sign the United States Declaration of Independence and whose name later became a synonym for a signature. This usage predates the American folklore hero John Henry from the 1870s.