Jane Doe

What does Jane Doe mean?

Name used when a woman’s real identity isn’t known: Jane Doe

When you hear the term ‘Jane Doe’, it’s often in a legal setting or in law enforcement. It’s a placeholder name used when the identity of a woman is either unknown or intentionally hidden. It’s the female equivalent of the more universally used ‘John Doe’.

This nickname came about from British courts in the 1800s. They would use these placeholder names when the identities of the people involved weren’t clear. Today, the term ‘Jane Doe’ is commonly used in crime-based television shows and films.

However, its use is not restricted to fiction. In real life, you might stumble upon this term in a courtroom or a police station. It’s also used to refer to an average, ordinary woman in day-to-day conversation or on social media platforms.

Example for using ‘Jane Doe’ in a conversation

Hey, did you watch that new crime show last night?

Yeah, I did! It was intense. They had this unidentified woman and called her Jane Doe throughout the episode.

Oh, I see. So, Jane Doe is like a placeholder name for unknown women?

Exactly! It’s commonly used in court and by law enforcement when they don’t know the woman’s identity or want to keep it hidden.