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Friday, December 26, 2003

Why John Smith?

My sister asked me, why every email client has the name John Smith as example.


Interesting indeed.I dunno. Lets post the question at usenet


In any Email Client, the example name is used as "John Smith". Who is this John Smith, and why are all the clients using this same name for example setups.

  • It leaves a better impression than "John Doe".
  • The Brit who established the first permanent British colony in North America. (1607, Jamestown, Virginia)
    An explorer, writer, soldier.
    It is simply used in America as a generic male name, like John Doe, who was the first man in America to be trampled to death by a female deer.
    Smith means common, and Doe means anonymous, to get technical.
    (John Doe was so messed up they couldn't identify him)

    (see below)

    (just kidding about the deer thing :-)

  • I have always assumed that it was because Smith was the most common "English" surname and John was the most common given name. Consequently, the example was "real" but could not be associated with
    an individual.

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