Meaning & History
From the medieval masculine name Josse, which was derived from the earlier Iudocus, which was a Latinized form of the Breton name Judoc meaning "lord". The name belonged to a 7th-century Breton saint, and Breton settlers introduced it to England after the Norman Conquest. It became rare after the 14th century, but was later revived as a feminine name, perhaps because of similarity to the Middle English word joise "to rejoice". This given name also formed the basis for a surname, as in the case of the Irish novelist James Joyce (1882-1941).
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Entry updated June 13, 2019