What do they call John Doe in Iceland?

In the US legal system, parties who wish to remain anonymous or are otherwise unidentified are often given the names “John Doe” or “Jane Doe.” Other titles, like “Average Joe” or “Joe Sixpack” or “John Q. Public,” are used when referring to the typical American man, and some names, like “Bobby Teenager,” are used only in very specific circumstances. [A million bonus points if you know where that name’s from– no asking Google.]

But what do they call John Doe in Iceland? Or Bulgaria? South Africa?

As with everything in life, Wikipedia has the answer. Here are some placeholder names from around the world:

  • Australia – Fred Nerk, Joe Farnarkle, Simon McCool
  • Ireland – Seán and Síle Citizen, John Murphy, Joe Bloggs
  • Bulgaria – Ivan Ivanov, Person X
  • South Africa – Koos van der Merwe, Piet Pompies
  • Malta – Joe Borg
  • Iceland – Meðal-Jón, Meðal-Jóna, Jón Jónsson, Jóna Jónsdóttir

And if I learned nothing else from my Czech lessons while I lived in Prague, I know that they sometimes use the names Jan Novák and Jana Nováková as placeholders. In my Czech classes, old Mr. and Mrs. Novak were always planning to go to the movies, or setting a time to meet in Wenceslas Square, or introducing themselves to each other. I always found that odd– weren’t they married?

Check out many more names from around the world here.