girls named "Jo"

What’s up with girls named “Billie Jo”, “Mary Jo”, etc.

Does the “Jo” have any significance?

It is just a convention used by certain sub-populations in our society that I have sense enough not to name. Everyone that I met that had it got it because of the simple fact that their parents liked how it sounded. Double first names are more common in some areas than others.

Jo is often short for Josephine. It was my grandmother’s first name, but it’s not an uncommon middle name either, in my experience.

Sometimes it is to honor a relative named Joseph. At least that was the reason on Petticoat Junction.

And for Joanne (or Joan or Jo-Ann, or other variants). All the girls I’ve known nicknamed Jo have been Joannes.

Yeah, my friend Mary Jo was named after her mother, Mary, and her father, Joseph.

I don’t think there is any significance to the name other than that Southern girls are more likely to have two names. Such as Rebecca Ann, Jamie Lee, Willie Belle, etc.

My niece, my sister, my mother, my great grandmother, my great great grandmother, and my great great great grandmother have all had the name Mary Josephine. My mother went by Mary, my sister dropped the Mary and goes by Jo now. I think her daughter stills goes by Mary Jo, at least at home.

Just to pop everyone’s bubble, my great grandmother’s family was from Philadelphia. Mom was born in Honolulu. Not a hillbilly in the bunch. There is a tradition of strong connection among them, and some heirlooms, as well.


My sister has always been known as Jo. Her actual name is Joanne.

My mom’s name is “Josefa”, she says it really cuts down on telemarketers who try to call her, since they either pronounce it wrong (Joe-seffa instead of the hispanic pronounciation) or think it’s a mis-spelling of “Joseph.”

“Hello, is Joseph lastname here?”
“Nope, nobody here’s named that.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, thank you.” click

For the most part, we call her Josie or “Mom” depending on who’s talking to her.

Mine is short for Jolene, just for a change.

It’s not something I go by in real life–just a humorous twist on my name that appealed seven years ago (my god, I can’t believe it’s been that long!)

You know, Southern and hillbilly are not the same thing. Yes, most hillbillies are Southern but most Southerners are not hillbilly. Having two first names is not exclusive to the South but it is more common.

My gret-grandmother was a Johannah, and went by “Joey”, “Jo”. She was a middle-class White South African of German heritage, so I don’t think the Southern US, redneck or Hillbilly stereotype applies.

Let’s not forget Jo March (in her case, it was a nickname for Joesphine) from Little Women, a book which probably went some way to popularising the name.

…And, BOB is the male equivalent.

Can I do a mini-hijack here?

What about men named “Jo” - not “Joe”?

I read Stephen Fry’s autobiography (he is a British actor) and his sister’s name is Jo and so is one of his male friends. I was sort of surprised at this spelling, and I recall reading about ANOTHER British guy named Jo shortly after reading the book (which is why I remember).

Is “Jo” a common short form of “Joseph” in England? Is it not feminine? Or was it pure coincidence that I came upon these two British guys that go by “Jo” as they may be the only ones?

Jo was my mom & dad’s papered pedigreed spaniel’s name. Well, at least that’s what they called Jo the cocker. His actual breeder name is unknown.

I’ve heard of Jo Jo (Jo-Jo?) for men. My childhood bestest friend’s middle name was Jo. Just Jo.

I like it.

I’ve been asked if my name was one of those compounds, if Johanna is a combination of Jo and Hannah. No, it’s just one name in one piece, originally that way. Actually, the original form of it in Koine Greek was Ioanna, and the -h- was a medieval Latin addition.

I used to have a hyphenated name until I changed it legally. I put up with having to spell it for over 40 years. Now I just have to get other people to use the altered version.

I went to university with a girl named Jo Lee. Joldine Lee. She was cute and smart, too. :slight_smile:

My mom, who is from Kentucky, was born Martha Josephine MaidenName. My father calls her “Martha Jo” only when he is prepared to withstand the Look Of Death.