Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One's signature.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. hero of American folk tales; portrayed as an enormously strong black man who worked on the railroads and died from exhaustion after winning a contest with a steam drill

Etymologies

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. (Wiktionary)

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