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National Joe Day

The name Joe is celebrated today. On this day people change their name to Joe or have people call them Joe. Those who want to be called by a more feminine version of the name could spell it as "Jo," or go by Josephine, Jody, or Jolene. People also celebrate those they know who are named Joe, or famous people that have the name.

Joe is the short form of Joseph, although people can be named Joe without having their given name be Joseph. Joseph comes from the Hebrew name Yosef, which means "he will add." Joseph is an important figure in the Old Testament: He was the son of Jacob and Rachel, who was sold into slavery by his brothers and became an advisor to the pharaoh. Joseph is also used in the New Testament, being the name of the husband of Jesus' mother Mary; there also was a Joseph of Arimathea.

Joseph was a common Jewish name in the Middle Ages, but was not used very often by Christians at the time. During the Late Middle Ages, it began being used more in Italy and Spain, and became popular in England after the Protestant Reformation. Today the name Joe often refers to an ordinary or regular guy, who is called an "average Joe" or "everyday Joe."

In the United States, the name Joseph was in the top 10 male names from the 1880s through the 1930s. From then into the 2010s it has been in the top 20. The name Joe was in the top 40 from the 1880s through the 1940s, and then it started losing ground. But, if you combine the names given as Joseph and Joe, the names are even more popular. Jose went from 149 in the 1880s, to being in the 30s in the 1990s and 2000s, likely reflecting demographic trends in the United States. Names of a similar nature that have cracked the top 100 names for females have been Josephine—which was quite popular through the 1920s—and Joanne, Jo, Joann, and Joan.

How to Observe National Joe Day

Celebrate by changing your name to Joe for the day! Wear it proudly on a nametag, and it will be sure to generate questions about the day. For those who really like the name Joe, they could permanently change their name. The day could also be spent celebrating people named Joe, whether they are your friends or famous people. You can even still celebrate them if their real name is Joseph but they just go by Joe. This is also a pretty good day to eat some sloppy joes and drink some joe—which is coffee.

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