Note: The origins for most popular idioms cannot be said with a certainty. What's provided are theories that may be plausible to how a phrase originated, but not necessarily so.
In addition, quotes that contain a particular phrase may be taken from old newspapers, poems, or books that were written centuries ago, but this by no means confirms that the phrase originates from said newspapers, poems, or books. In all likelihood, if an expression is being used in a newspaper, it's probably already a well known saying and is from an older time.
knowyourphrase.com - Popular Sayings With Their Meanings and Origins!
Have you ever woken up in the morning, sipped a hot cup of coffee, and then wonder to
yourself why this drink is occasionally referred to as 'a cup of joe'? Well, I don't drink
coffee, so I haven't done the first part, however, I have been slightly curious about the
origin of this phrase. Indeed, coffee is popular choice of drink in the morning for millions
of hard working people, but how did it get this nickname?
Well, there are two popular theories about the origin of this phrase: One is in regards to Josephus Daniels, who was Secretary of the Navy. On the month of June, 1914, he banned all U.S. Navy ships from serving alcoholic beverages. The sailors weren't too thrilled with the decision, because they had to resort to the next strongest drink on the list, which was coffee!
Since Josephus Daniels was the one responsible for banning alcohol and "forced" everyone to make the switch to coffee, the sailors nicknamed the drink after him, thus it became "a cup of joe," Joe being short for Josephus. That's the theory anyways.
However, a more plausible theory comes from Snopes, where it's explained how the word "joe" can simply mean the average man. For example, perhaps you've heard someone say: "I'm just an average joe." That means he's just an every day, ordinary kind of guy. Therefore, a drink involving the word "joe" would show that the drink is for the common man, or the average person.
* This place has the best tasting coffee in town; I'll definitely be ordering all of my cups of joe from this spot in the future!
* This morning, I made myself a steaming hot cup of joe; it's the only drink that fuels me for the rest of the day.