One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Chinese religious statue or idol.
- ‘Producers proudly displayed products such as joss and incense sticks, belt buckles, knives textiles, scissors and papier-mâché items.’
- ‘And last year, Italians spent over 450m euros on fortune tellers, faith - healers, holy men and joss - stick burners of every flavour.’
Early 18th century: from Javanese dejos, from obsolete Portuguese deos, from Latin deus ‘god’.
A person of influence or importance.
Mid 19th century: from dialect joss ‘foreman’, of unknown origin.
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