- Hancock, John.
- Informal. a person's signature: Put your John Hancock onthis check.
Origin of John Hancock
- Herbert JeffreyHerbie, born 1940, U.S. jazz pianist and composer.
- John,1737–93, American statesman: first signer of the Declaration of Independence.
- Winfield Scott,1824–86, Union general in the Civil War.
- US and Canadian informal a person's signatureput your John Hancock on this form Also called: John Henry
Word Origin for John Hancock
- Anthony John, known as Tony. 1924–68, British comedian, noted for his radio series Hancock's Half Hour
- John. 1737–93, American statesman; first signatory of the Declaration of Independence
colloquial for "signature," 1903 (sometimes, through some unexplainable error, John Henry), from the Boston merchant and rebel (1736-1793), signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. The extended sense is from his signing that dangerous document first or most flamboyantly.
John Hancock, president of Congress, was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence, writing his name in large, plain letters, and saying: "There; John Bull can read my name without spectacles. Now let him double the price on my head, for this is my defiance." [Hélène Adeline Guerber, "The Story of the Thirteen Colonies," New York, 1898]
The family name is attested from 1276 in Yorkshire, a diminutive (see cock) of Hann, a very common given name in 13c. Yorkshire as a pet form of Henry or John.
Also, John Henry. One's signature, as in Just put your John Hancock on the dotted line. This expression alludes to John Hancock's prominent signature on the Declaration of Independence. The variant simply substitutes a common name for “Hancock.” [Mid-1800s]