Whence Joss?

How did the name Joss come about? It doesn’t appear to be gender specific. I’ve never heard of it until suddenly Joss Whedon and Joss Stone both have it. Usually this happens with place names like Sydney or Austin. I’ve never heard of a place named Joss.

Joss as a girl’s name can be a short form of Jocelyn. Not sure about the male version - Joshua perhaps? - or maybe it’s a standalone name for males.

Actor Joss Ackland’s real name includes the name “Jocelyn.”

According to most baby name books, it’s from Jocelyn, which used to be a masculine name, not a feminine one. Over time, it came to be used on its own (although it’s still not a common name.) cite.

My understanding is that Joss Whedon’s real name is “Joshua.” He changed “Josh” to “Joss” because it sounded cooler and evoked Asian mysticism, a la “joss sticks.”

(Checking Wikipedia, it seems it was originally “Joseph.”)

Ah, that explains it. The SDMB collective intelligence wins again.