John Henry

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Believed to be a Western United States cowboy variation (dating from the late 1700s or early 1800s) of John Hancock, the first person to sign the United States Declaration of Independence and whose name later became a synonym for a signature. This usage predates the American folklore hero John Henry from the 1870s.


John Henry (plural John Henrys)

  1. (idiomatic) One's signature.
    • L. Ron Hubbard, Villainy Victorious: Mission Earth
      They stepped forward. Bury held a pen at them. “So if you fellows will just put your John Henrys on this document, it's all legal.” The two privates signed it.

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