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Jocelyn sounds like it might be derived from John or Jack (like Jacqueline), but it’s actually of French/German origin and means, “one of the Goths.” It started out as a boys’ name, but was moved to the girls’ side of the aisle in the early 20th century.

Modern users often used the nickname Joss for it—such as singer/actress Joss Stone. Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell is an Irish astrophysicist who discovered radio pulsars. Jocelyn Moorhouse is an Australian director, best known for creating How to Make an American Quilt. Socialite Jocelyne Wildenstein was known for her extensive plastic surgery, which gave her the appearance of a cat. There’s an opera named Jocelyn, written in the late 1800s. In pop culture, the popular character Jocelyn Schitt from Schitt’s Creek is probably the biggest claim to fame, along with the mother of the heroine Clary from the Mortal Instruments book series.

Its unique meaning means there aren’t a lot of baby names that share its meaning—Gustav would be the male option. If you like Jocelyn but aren’t sold on it, consider one of the many other lyn/line names—Adeline, Evelyn, Gwendolyn, and Evangeline are all some up-and-coming options.

Jocelyn has been on the top 1000 popular baby names since the 1920s, and achieved peak popularity in 2007, when it was the 50th most popular girls’ name in the U.S. It’s currently on a bit of a decline, now within the top 300 baby names.

Jocelyn in quotes:

“Have a Rose-y day!” —Jocelyn Schitt, Schitt’s Creek

“I've realized in time
That my eyes are not blind
I've seen it, before, I'm takin' back my life.” —Joss Stone, “You Had Me”

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