Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April 11th-Brought To You By the Letter 'J'

Cuppa Joe
CAUTION:  Contents may be hot. Dumbass.
    How many us enjoy coffee first thing in the morning?  
    Whether at Dunkin' Donuts, Tim Horton's, Starbucks, McDonalds, or in our very own kitchens, many of us need a jolt of caffeine to get us moving in the morning.

    Either to work or the Mens' Room, but there's definitely moving going on.

    Never mind that most soft drinks give you the same caffeinated boost, Red Bull gives you wings, and that 5 Hour Energy thing gives you enough pep to go to your panhandling job.  

    In reality, it's a "Cuppa Joe" which is the worldwide choice to start the day. Well, maybe it's cocaine in Hollywood, but you get the idea.

    But, where exactly did the phrase "Cuppa Joe" come from?

Did not originate 
from "Joe Mamma."

Some language scholars
Old Dead Steve
(aka "People Without Gainful Employment") trace its origins to the song, Old Black Joe.  Published in 1853, this mournful Stephen Foster ditty seems a likely source for the expression.  It's about an old man.  Who is black.  And is named "Joe."  And has no mention of any kind of drink in it.
    On second thought, maybe not.
    Some folks believe "Cuppa Joe" is a modification of the terms "java" or "jamoke."  Used by people who couldn't remember it was actually called "coffee," there may be some truth to this.  However, this begs the question:  why isn't it called a "Cuppa Ja" then?

"I'm an opium man, myself."
"That sodomy
 thing is still cool, though, right?"
    Another theory holds the beverage is named after a former Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels.  A teetotaler, "Old Joe" (who was not black), abolished wine messes aboard U.S. Navy ships in 1914.         
    Denied their favorite beverages, seagoing officers now had to content themselves with a mug of coffee, which they derisively called a "Cup of Joe."
    Good thing his first name wasn't "Dick." 

    Maybe that "Joe Mamma" explanation isn't so crazy, after all.



  1. I always found the cuppa joe phrase really odd, especially when somebody uses it over here but now it makes a little more sense to me haha.

  2. I once knew a Richard (Dick) Hancock. What were his parents thinking?

  3. OK ASW Module Officer, Today's 6 degree challenge: Al Jolson to Kevin Bacon. You may now pick up your #2 pencil, open the test booklet and begin. If you successfully complete this, Mr Vice, a gregarious vice-admiral will smother you in a bear hug.

    1. Al Jolson who starred in Hollywood Calvacade with Don Ameche who also starred in Trading Places with Dan Akroyd who also starred in The Blues Brothers with John Belushi who also starred in Animal House with Kevin Bacon.
      By the way, Anonymous, I think I know who you are. Mr. Vice, gregarious Vice-Admiral, and knowledge that I was the ASW Module Officer are all clues. Methinks you enjoyed a good wardroom banter session.

  4. The current Commander, Naval Surface Forces is VADM Richard Hunt. Good thing he's a SWO. I wonder what his call sign would have been if he were a brown shoe.

  5. No coffee for me, I am just naturally hyper at my sea. And yeah thankfully it was not dick, cup of dick wouldn't be very appealing.

  6. Mr. Eva finally finished your book, and I got my Kindle back! (He loved it!) Now I get to read it!

  7. That's so cool! I love coffee :)

    Making the rounds from A to Z. Nice to meet you!!

  8. I love those old phrases and use some of them almost every morning while making coffee. In fact, I'm about to have a cup 'o mud right now...
    good post!

  9. Fun, fun post, Al! Yep, I definitely need a jolt of java each morning!

  10. Right you are, good thing his name wasn't Dick. I am a new follower from the challenge. I have bookmarked your blog so I will remember to return for more entertaining post after the challenge ends. You blog is impressive and quite funny. I am looking forward to reading more.

  11. Oh my gosh Al, you did it again - you had me laughing not just with your article but with the captions under the pictures too. I don't drink coffee, but I almost spit out my Coke while reading this from laughing so hard!

  12. "jo Mama" is my favorite ! I enjoy the cup of coffee in the mornings... Especially in the winter. :)

  13. @MonkeyButt: I gotta admit, the picture tickled me, too.
    Gottahavacuppajoe, fo sho!
    @L: Joe Mamma and sodomy. The captions are sometimes more fun than writing the articles. Thanks!
    @Melissa: I'll go have a look 'round your way. Welcome to the insanity!
    @Lyn: Yep. As do I and Mrs. Penwasser-who is the only girl I ever knew that preferred to drink her coffee black. That and her car really impressed me. And the boobs.
    @Pat: Cuppa mud! How could I have forgotten that phrase!? Must not have had my coffee yet.
    @Jess: Back atcha, Jess!
    @Eva: That really makes me feel good. The funny thing is that a LOT of it is true. The chapter on putting shag carpet on the toilet is absolutely true (which, frankly, is kind of amazing).
    @Pat: A cup of dick-now THAT'LL get a rise out of ya!
    @Stephen: The same thing Richard Johnson's parents were thinking.
    @Matthew: Believe it or not, I actually researched this. Well, Joe Mamma isn't exactly true, but the rest is (even that Stephen Foster song-no kidding). No one can really agree on the name's origins. So, I made up Joe Mamma. And that sodomy thing is probably bogus, too. I hope.

  14. Hmmm, I've actually wondered about that particular colloquialism... ah dang it, now I'm craving coffee. You and your power of suggestion, Al...

    1. You will send the Al Penwasser Foundation a certified check for one million dollars.
      Or a beer truck.
      It's all good.
      But, come to think of it, if I had a check for a million dollars, I could buy a LOT of beer trucks.
      Carry on with my original suggestion, then.

  15. I loved this. Coffee is my favorite addiction. I am a smoker, but I would much rather quit cigarettes than coffee. A few years ago, I had to. My doctor recommended it. I was drinking it excessively. My liquid intake was exclusively coffee. Those were hard times. But, we're back together again.

  16. I'm more a tea kinda gal.
    I was actually burned with hot coffee in the midst of a robbery. That was his weapon of choice. When I opened the register, he threw it in my face and tried to grab money out of the drawer. That was not a good night at work.
    Love the opium and sodomy captions. Made me laugh!

  17. You always have the best captions! I hope there's a future story about you and Sub-Radar- Mike! Am I the only one who notices how hysterical this has been? Julie

  18. @Nellie: Plus, there's very few things worse than coffee breath. Well, poop breath. But, that's rare. Thankfully.
    @Ruth: My God! That is some wicked hot stuff, too. Mrs. Penwasser spilled some on her lap several years ago. I was amazed at the blisters. Opium and sodomy in the same post! And Joe Mamma.
    @Julie: I love "comments banter" both here and on other peoples' blogs.

  19. Tomorrow morning I'll be thinking," Boy this cup of Dick tastes good". Thanks a lot Al!

  20. "old Black Joe" brought a smile to my face. Why? Check out an old post of mine,, and if youre in a hurry scroll down till you hit the second KC story.

  21. coffee is bad. for my guts anyway. i prefer a dr pepper to wake me up in the morning, though i've had to give it up. now i only drink a snoot full of the green powdered barley every morning. on second thought, maybe i should try out coffee again.
    poor ruth with the weapon of coffee hitting her in the face! rude!

  22. @Bushman: That may be, but I wouldn't say it out loud. ;-)
    @CW: I will do just that.
    @Sherilin: Coffee gives my innards a "jump start", if you know what I mean.
    You have a snootful of powdered barley every morning? Does that mean you pour it in your nose?

    1. sometimes i accidentally snort it, but mostly i just plop a big pile of green dust on my tongue and then hope to be able to swallow it before i sneeze.

    2. So, it's like that cinnamon challenge? Only healthy and not stupid?