Dictionary.com

Every coffee lover has a term of endearment for his or her cup of brew. Here are the stories behind some of the more frequently used expressions, like cup of Joe and java.

(Also, if you’re curious about  the mystery of where the word coffee comes from, look here.)

According to the folk etymology of cup of Joe, the term may be named after Josephus Daniels. In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson appointed Daniels to be Secretary of the U.S. Navy. 

The story goes that Daniels instituted several reforms, including banning alcohol from U.S. Navy ships. With the booze gone, coffee became the strongest drink available to sailors. And then over time, it became known as a cup of Joe.

Java is another slang word for coffee. It is named after the main Indonesian island, which is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Coffee is grown abundantly on Java.

 When craving a cup of muddy water, many of us head to Starbucks, which got its start in Seattle in 1971. The three founders of the largest coffeehouse company in the world were an English teacher, a history teacher, and a writer. This may explain the company’s name. Starbuck is a character in “Moby-Dick.” He is a Quaker from Nantucket who is a first mate aboard the Pequod.

Concentra Growing Business to Care for Newly Covered Patients, Employers.

Heart Disease Weekly August 22, 2010 Concentra, a leading provider of occupational health and wellness services, is expanding its national footprint by adding several new employer worksite locations and larger, more accessible Concentra Urgent Care centers. The company also plans to add more urgent care centers to care for an aging U.S. workforce and newly-covered patients as part of the new health care legislation (see also Wellness).

With an estimated 32 million Americans set to gain health insurance coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, many will face a limited supply of primary care physicians. Concentra plans to address the needs of patients and employers, many of whom will provide coverage to employees for the first time, by adding new centers in numerous cities and surrounding communities.

“There is already a shortage of primary care providers available, and the system will become further stressed with the addition of newly covered patients,” said Concentra Chief Executive Officer Jim Greenwood. “Our medical centers are a great resource to make primary care services available to more patients, at times and locations that are most convenient to them.” Concentra is also expanding its worksite health offerings as more employers bring health care services to the workplace. Concentra’s comprehensive health and wellness services have become increasingly popular for larger employers to control costs, and improve the health of their workforce. These services can include injury and illness care, a variety of health screenings, care coordination, management of chronic health conditions, nutrition and fitness counseling, and preventive vaccine services. this web site concentra urgent care web site concentra urgent care

“By focusing on the underlying issues and behaviors that drive poor health, we can help to stem the tide of rising health care costs, increasing rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, and help to improve the health of the nation’s workforce,” added Greenwood.

Concentra medical centers and worksite clinics offer treatment for various health conditions including broken bones, lacerations and infections, and minor burns, as well as treatment for routine health issues such as colds and flu. Concentra also implements an early-intervention treatment model with its advanced physical therapy services, helping to speed healing and return patients to normal function faster.

Concentra operates more than 300 urgent care centers in the U.S., and is the nation’s leader in occupational medicine. The company also operates more than 250 employer worksite clinics, and has plans to bring comprehensive workplace clinics to more employers in the near future. During the past 30 years Concentra has developed a reputation as the country’s leading provider of quality, affordable health care services. Today, Concentra continues to present new options in employee health care with innovative solutions and advanced delivery methods, while yielding a cost-savings to employers. For more information about the Concentra’s health and wellness solutions, visit www.Concentra.com.

72 Comments

  1. Jordan -  May 15, 2013 - 11:27 pm

    Hey! I understand this is somewhat off-topic but I had to ask.
    Does managing a well-established blog such as yours take a lot of work?
    I’m brand new to writing a blog however I do write in my diary daily. I’d
    like to start a blog so I will be able to share my own experience and views online.

    Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers.
    Appreciate it!

    Reply
  2. Sigi -  May 13, 2011 - 12:15 pm

    There’s an island called “Starbuck? Named after Valentine or Obed Starbuck, whaling family of Nantucket. The island is between Phoenix and Maquesas Islands in the South Pacific. Kiribati .
    Perhaps the three founders checked their history and thus named it after that family.

    Reply
  3. Jean Manuforti -  January 24, 2011 - 8:53 am

    Having read all the way to the end of these very good coffee-soaked posts I’m gasping… for a cup of tea! Sorry, javaheads.

    Reply
  4. Carl -  January 23, 2011 - 10:37 am

    I thought a “cup of Joe” was from a freak accident where a Navy seaman was accidentally ground into the coffee while at port for resupply.

    Reply
  5. Keith -  January 18, 2011 - 8:23 am

    I was in the navy for a few years, and coffee is pretty much a staple of every sailor. Im guessing with the attitudes of sailors “a cup of joe” would make more sense coming from this source. Often ridiculing our upper chain of commands as a joke, it only makes sense of referring to the new “beverage of choice” as a cup of joe.

    Reply
  6. Jancann -  January 8, 2011 - 8:26 pm

    I haven’t been this interested in comments in maybe………ever!
    One of the nicest sites I have ever visited, the information & the people.
    jancann

    Reply
  7. Francesca -  January 8, 2011 - 5:24 pm

    Oh, just kidding. The town in Washington is also called “Starbuck”, probably after Starbuck of Moby Dick as well. Disregard my former comment.

    Reply
  8. Francesca -  January 8, 2011 - 5:20 pm

    There is a town in Washington called Starbucks. Maybe they named the company after Starbuck from Moby Dick, but seeing as they are from Washington and some people have been criticizing that the company is called “Starbucks” and not “Starbuck’s”, I think that this town might also be a possibility.

    Reply
  9. LADY GAGA -  January 8, 2011 - 7:41 am

    HELLO ALL MY BEAUTIFUL MONSTERS! I LOVE COFFEE!

    Reply
  10. Janae -  January 8, 2011 - 5:51 am

    Wait, Tom….a starbuck is an apparatus for holding wood while you’re sawing it. It’s composed of two supports nailed together in the shape of an “X”, (hence the star) with another piece connecting the two. The wood to be sawn is placed in the top sections of the “X” so that the saw can cut through cleanly. Wait a minute! That’s a sawbuck, not a starbuck. Maybe I’d better get a cup of coffee before I discuss this subject.

    Reply
  11. claudia -  January 8, 2011 - 3:43 am

    WHATever……..

    Reply
  12. Kathy -  January 8, 2011 - 2:39 am

    The first time I saw that chicken place, I was in NYC and couldn’t figure out the “Pope Yes”. Was it a religious restaurant? I may have had a couple of beers.

    Reply
  13. tinker -  January 7, 2011 - 1:56 pm

    Apostrophes do matter. It’s the difference between the chicken restaurant’s being called Popeye’s and being called Pope Yes.

    Reply
  14. William -  January 7, 2011 - 1:09 pm

    Best cup of coffee I’ve ever had was in a German pub or Gasthaas in Frankfurt AM one Sunday morning back in 1968. Usually I went there for the beer and sausages in the evening by the way. No American served coffee, regardless of its fame has ever topped that German coffee.

    Reply
  15. Kate -  October 28, 2010 - 9:42 am

    I love coffee! I think I’m gonna name one of my kids Starbuck, I like it. And was that really Lady GaGa?!?!?!?!?!?!?! :o

    Reply
  16. Jocantha Telsey -  October 9, 2010 - 3:59 pm

    this is ridiculous, hot word is very vague and doesn’t explain their subjects well. no proof, no sources, ugh. however, it does provide some basic knowledge.
    @westmount, montreal: lady gaga probably did NOT comment on this article, it could just be a kid joking around.

    Reply
  17. person -  October 4, 2010 - 4:07 pm

    I thought the people who founded Starbucks were from Starbucks, Washington. Or maybe the map I looked at was lying that there is a city named that. There is also Marcus.

    Reply
  18. Fashmash -  October 4, 2010 - 2:51 pm

    The name Starbucks (and the mermaid logo) came from a P.R. company. The logo comes from a 16th English tile that the P.R. company found. That’s the story one of the founders tells

    Reply
  19. A.Alaalas -  September 15, 2010 - 10:22 pm

    Like Starbucks, you will find much varied signage for Grocer, e.g., Grocers, Grocer’s, Grocers’ when in fact there is only one grocer on the premises.

    Reply
  20. westmount, montreal -  September 11, 2010 - 7:09 am

    MORE IMPORTANTLY….HAS NOBODY NOTICED
    THAT LADY GAGA WROTE A POST ON THIS ARTICLE???
    SHE IS ONLY THE MOST INSPIRING AND FAMOUS PERFORMER IN THE
    WORLD TODAY… WE LOVE YOU GAGA!!!!

    Reply
  21. tristram -  September 11, 2010 - 3:07 am

    To me, the bigger question/mystery is the odd relation of what looks like a trifecta in the making. Starbucks, Macy’s and Folger’s Coffee.

    Nantucket, early 1600s. Purchased by a group of men from a “broker” representing the standing ownership by local indians. Tristram Coffin, Thomas Macy, Christopher Hussey, Richard Swayne, Thomas Bernard, Peter Coffin, Stephen Greenleafe, John Swayne, and William Pike for, “thirty pounds…and two Beaver hats one for myself and one for my wife.

    Edward Starbuck, while not a “founder” of the island, was an original inhabitant and originated from Devon England just as the group of others.

    Naturally, you’ve heard that Nantucket was the world epicenter of whaling back in the 17th and 18th centuries. Spearheaded (no pun intended) by a few prominent families of particular expertise; Coffin, Starbuck, Macy, Gardner etc. These families’ reputation is represented across the globe with south pacific islands named such inventive names like Coffin Island, Starbuck island and.. well, you get the idea.

    The potential trifecta’s conspiracy theory-worthy mascot is none other than the Starbuck logo. Especially the most recent and current version.

    Goes something like this: Thomas Macy was the ancestor of R.H. Macy who founded the famous department store, and was born on Nantucket Island. While working as a deck hand aboard a whaler, he got a red star tattooed on his hand. I’ll get back to this later.

    James Folger, also of Nantucket Island, made his way to San Francisco during the goldrush via the Panama Canal. As he’d done in Nantucket numerous times, he found work rebuilding after many of the fires destroyed buildings. One of which was a spice company owned by William H Bovee. After rebuilding, and working for Bovee producing roasted and ground coffee, the two founded the San Francisco coffee firm, known today as Folgers Coffee. Now we’re getting somewhere.

    Whaling. Back to whaling. As customary, whalers and whaleships featured figurehead affixed to the prow of the ship to ward off bad seas and ensure hospitable forebearance. Some fo these figureheads were carved to resemble bountiful mermaids.

    The Joseph Starbuck, built by Joseph Starbuck in 1838 and like many Nantucket whaeships, featured a rather sexy mermaid figurehead attached to the ship’s prow. I guess the whales became overwhelmed with lust, and rendered unable to navigate properly.

    So, this version of the Starbucks logo, which was used for years, shows a Star and a busty mermaid. We have a tie-in with the Starbuck name from Nantucket, Joh Starbuck’s whaler The Joh Starbuck, the mermaid figurehead, the Macy’s red star and, of course, the coffee connection with Folger having been a deckhand on a whaler.

    So, the current version of the Starbuck’s logo features the mermaid, with a star on her crown. Nantucket, Starbucks, and Macy’s – whaling, department stores, coffee and mermaids. And Edward Folger (coffee) whose son James lived in Nantucket and relocated to San Francisco to ultimately founded the iconic coffee company, Folger’s Coffee. How is it that two fo the most prominent name sin the coffee industry are closely tied to nantucket, which oddly has not coffee tie-in whatsoever?

    http://logoblink.com/2009/07/07/starbucks-logo-mania

    Yet, there is one other factor here, another Coffin family member.

    That’s me!

    -Tristram Coffin

    arrrggghhh!

    Reply
  22. ummmmmmmm ya know -  September 10, 2010 - 9:18 am

    Hey me we should get back to our school work before Mr. smarr gets mad and we get caught!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  23. riki -  September 9, 2010 - 4:58 pm

    grammatical accuracy ‘is’ the purpose of your post not ‘it’ ….. :)Love my coffee French

    Reply
  24. KMFW -  September 9, 2010 - 2:31 pm

    “Call me Fishmeal.”
    KMFW

    Reply
  25. Toni -  September 9, 2010 - 8:33 am

    pyoongdoong,
    It should be “Since everyone…” Another acceptable way to prefix your myriad of petty grammatical corrections would be “Seeing that…” However, the former remedy for your atrocious choice of words would be my first choice.

    Reply
  26. Dhr. S.R.A. Shah -  September 9, 2010 - 7:39 am

    What a great fuss on the origin of coffee, Starbuks or Starbuk’s, Joe or Java. It does not matter, whether you drink at McDonald’s or at
    Starbuk’s. It still taste like coffee. According to the quote of Shakespear: “What’s in a name, if you call a rose by another name, it
    will still smell like a rose”. The same philosophy should apply for
    coffee, because whatever name you give coffee, it will taste like coffee
    and it will smell like coffee. Eind of the discussion. However, you should keep up the good work, for more discussion on such matters!!!

    Reply
  27. Dhr. S.R.A. Shah -  September 9, 2010 - 7:31 am

    What a fuss over Starbuks (Starbuk’s), Joe and Java. What’s in a name,
    if you call a rose by another name, it will still smell like a rose!
    The same philosophy applies for coffe, because it always smell like a
    coffe, whether you drink at McDonald’s or Starbuck’s.
    Keep up the good work for more discussion on such matters!!!

    Reply
  28. Laura -  September 8, 2010 - 5:04 pm

    Very entertaining entries! Actually, I prefer Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s coffee to Starbucks. To me they taste better and are much more reasonably priced. I just call “coffee” by that apellation – the history of the nicknames are very interesting. Thanks for the good read!

    Reply
  29. GollyGee Gran -  September 8, 2010 - 10:31 am

    My dad was career Navy – he called it ‘Joe’ since before WW II – and I do believe it was because of G.I. Joe. But Joe, Java or whatever it’s called – gotta love a good “cuppa”!!!

    Reply
  30. jtuck2 -  September 8, 2010 - 9:39 am

    I think it’s (notice I used the apostrophe) poetic license to leave out the apostrophe. I’ve noticed many companies do that. Not a problem………

    Reply
  31. CUP O JOE | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  September 8, 2010 - 9:12 am

    [...] COFFEE, CheaPucini — a cupasoup or Burger Kings Joe — it’s all caffeine and marketing the JAVA JAVA that we know.–>>rUPERT l.t.rHYME [...]

    Reply
  32. Some sport dude -  September 8, 2010 - 7:59 am

    nerds…….

    Reply
  33. nutsack -  September 8, 2010 - 7:54 am

    i think the whole ideaof starbucks is dumb. all your doing is wasting money on whale fecece.

    Reply
  34. GaGa -  September 8, 2010 - 7:35 am

    This is so interesting:) I totally had a Starbucks cappuccino before my concert 2nite a JPJ;)

    Reply
  35. Rosa la'Perdona -  September 8, 2010 - 7:23 am

    WoW! really cool blog! specially since I love Starbucks!!!!!!!! Starbucks #1 fan…fosho!

    Reply
  36. ummmmm ya know -  September 8, 2010 - 7:05 am

    haha that’s so funny me!!!!!! And whats even more funny is i’m sittin right next to you!!!!!!!!! So hey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  37. Cuban_eight -  September 8, 2010 - 7:03 am

    According to the founders on the CNBC Starbucks interview, Starbucks was made up because it sounded good and not directly after the character.

    Reply
  38. ME -  September 8, 2010 - 7:02 am

    haha i didnt even read it. who really cares coffee is coffee it all goes down the same. =)

    Reply
  39. Cheryl -  September 8, 2010 - 6:15 am

    I love the term “jump juice”! Really cool & original.

    Reply
  40. Linda -  September 8, 2010 - 5:57 am

    Love reading all the comments. Love coffee. Don’t care what it’s called or anything. I like WWW! Keep it up, Lin.

    Reply
  41. To J.D. from K.I. -  September 8, 2010 - 5:57 am

    Is Starbacks anywhere over the Pacific Ocean? Come cross the border!!

    Reply
  42. Leo Gordon -  September 8, 2010 - 5:32 am

    Are none of the three founders or their children alive to ask that question?

    Reply
  43. Joe D -  September 8, 2010 - 5:30 am

    On The X-Files, Scully’s father called her Starbuck because he read Moby Dick to her when she was a child.

    Reply
  44. pyoongdoong -  September 8, 2010 - 3:26 am

    And nobodies should be nobody’s.

    Reply
  45. pyoongdoong -  September 8, 2010 - 2:16 am

    Sorry, there should be a space in between the ‘post’ and the bracket. I thought I should post the earlier post, to remind people that this is a blog, and not a grammar test. And coffee is good. Although I just call mine coffee.

    Reply
  46. pyoongdoong -  September 8, 2010 - 2:13 am

    Seeing as everyone is being just slightly pedantic, I’ll join in. Jimmy, if grammatical accuracy it the purpose of your post(which I assume it’s not, as nearly nobodies is, except for the fussy, ‘pedantics’), then your post should be “I look forward ‘to’ more”.

    Reply
  47. Carlyle Menz -  September 7, 2010 - 11:36 pm

    The founders of Starbucks originally wanted to name the coffee shop “Ahab’s Coffee” but decided it sounded too biblical and unapproachable. So “Starbucks” was chosen instead. That’s what my English prof. told me anyways.

    Reply
  48. Gary Dean -  September 7, 2010 - 9:17 pm

    Cup of Jo is simply that. The Javans historically called their country Jow. “You want some Jow” Dialects get mixed up and so suddenly no-one knows where words or their originate. It’s a bit like the Tower of Babel, biblical story.

    But Jo or Jow is simply where coffee originates. All the best.

    Reply
  49. Jimmy F. Ramos -  September 7, 2010 - 5:21 pm

    Interesting–not only the story about “cup o’ Joe”, but the entire ferreting on words for their origins and tales. I look forward for more.

    Reply
  50. Rajan -  September 7, 2010 - 1:53 pm

    Interesting. I always thought it was short for jolt, as in the caffeine giving me a kickstart or jolt to keep awake and work.

    Reply
  51. John -  September 7, 2010 - 12:45 pm

    No, Starbuck is the name Scully’s father calls her.

    Reply
  52. Rob Feldbruegge -  September 7, 2010 - 12:42 pm

    Maybe the three founders all felt a connection with Starbuck, perhaps all decided to be first mates and equals, since they’re partners, rather than one being Captain Ahab, one Starbuck, and one Ishmael. Thus the plural, Starbucks. Of course, it would still make more sense to have an apostrophe at the end, “Starbucks’” – but maybe that just doesn’t look good, and their business sense drove them to drop the apostrophe.

    Reply
  53. Faith -  September 7, 2010 - 12:19 pm

    Cooooooffeeeeeee

    Reply
  54. Tom Evans -  September 7, 2010 - 12:17 pm

    THE RAINMAKER, central character of N. Richard Nash’s American western play from the 50′s has chosen for himself the romantic name “Starbuck.” He says something to the effect that his made up name has in it the power of the sky (star) and the quality of manliness (buck). Which is one reason I have always liked Starbucks coffee.

    Reply
  55. Howard Beggs -  September 7, 2010 - 12:01 pm

    Hey ty,
    It’s “gentle tone”, not “gently tone.”

    Reply
  56. #1 Skillet fan -  September 7, 2010 - 11:54 am

    I hate coffee but this was a good blog. Keep it up :)

    Reply
  57. Waldo Pepper -  September 7, 2010 - 11:50 am

    Well you have to understand that when Starbuck was aboard the Pequod, they hadn’t yet invented the apostrophe. So that explains that. Still don’t know why Starbucks discontinued their “half double decaffeinated half cap with a twist of lemon” approriately called the Ishmael.

    Reply
  58. clark -  September 7, 2010 - 11:25 am

    I thought Starbucks came from Terry Bradshaw’s first wife’s maiden name! WHo knew?

    Reply
  59. Thom Burke -  September 7, 2010 - 10:43 am

    Yeah, gardner, but if one accepts the stated origin of the corporation’s name, the sailor in Moby Dick was called Starbuck, not Starbucks. Adding an S indicates the plural, so there has to be several folks named Starbuck connected with the coffee seller? Starbuck’s, with an apostrophe showing possession makes more sense, as in Starbuck’s Cafe.

    Reply
  60. ty -  September 7, 2010 - 10:42 am

    I like the gently tone of these posts. Let’s keep it up.

    Reply
  61. D-Rod -  September 7, 2010 - 10:40 am

    But the character’s name is Starbuck, not Starbucks. Maybe the teachers weren’t so good at punctuation, so they quit teaching and started a coffee company.

    Reply
  62. the gardener -  September 7, 2010 - 9:52 am

    It’s Starbucks and not Starbuck’s for the same reason it’s James and not Jame’s. It’s a name, not a possessive.

    Reply
  63. wazzup pplz -  September 7, 2010 - 9:41 am

    mmmmmmm….. i love chai soooo caffinated…..
    weeelll anyway a rather informational story

    Reply
  64. SweetPretzel -  September 7, 2010 - 9:17 am

    I dont drink coffee, but i like the blogs. Keep them up! :)

    Reply
  65. Tracy -  September 7, 2010 - 5:43 am

    I’ve called coffee “jump juice” for years because it jump starts my day. I don’t know if this predates the juice bar by the same name, but I began using the term decades before I ever heard of the place.

    Reply
  66. KStil -  September 7, 2010 - 4:52 am

    I’ve also heard that the ‘Joe’ is for G.I. Joes, who drank coffee all the time as well. I suppose both occurrences are equally likely, maybe even both happened. :) The mysteries of philology and lexicography.

    Reply
  67. To J.D. from K.I. -  September 7, 2010 - 4:12 am

    Allegororically speaking, a pair of jeans refers to personae in Moby-Dick and Joe the politican. I am a bit tipsy as usual and I do not figure out which one is which. I might get it all misunderstood.

    Reply
  68. GWSTB -  September 7, 2010 - 4:00 am

    An interesting story.

    Reply
  69. Nikki -  September 7, 2010 - 1:04 am

    Yeah. I forgot to say though that there is a possibility it was Josephus Daniels :)

    —–
    Nicola

    Reply
  70. Nikki -  September 7, 2010 - 1:04 am

    Nice effort Hot Word, but after some research I found that’s not what cup o’ Joe is named after. Apparently cup o’ Joe is named after Joseph Grande, a man who made “chocobubble coffee”. It was a half-failure half-success but everybody liked it – cup o’ Joe was officially made, named after Grande.

    —–
    Nicola, aka Nikki

    Reply
  71. Lela Jenkins -  September 7, 2010 - 12:46 am

    But why is it Starbucks instead of Starbuck’s?

    Reply

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked (required):

Related articles

Back to Top