Origin of the Name Joyce

The name Joyce emerged twice, first as a family name during the Middle Ages, and then again much more recently as a given name for girls. As a family name, it originates from the Brittany peninsula as the Old French name Josse, which is derived from the Breton name Judoc, meaning “lord.”

The Meaning of Joyce

As a given name, Joyce is derived from the Middle English word “joise” which means, “rejoice.”

The Popularity of Joyce

At the height of its popularity in 1924, it was the 4th most common name in England and Wales, according to the historical records of the General Register’s Office. In the ensuing decades, Joyce remained amongst the top 100 names until 1964 when, after a steady decline in popularity, it finally fell off the list. By 2009, the Office for National Statistics counted only 32 new baby girls who were given this name.

Famous Joyces

Joyce Moreno — a famous musician known internationally for her Brazilian music. In the 1990’s, her dance-oriented music enjoyed a brief popularity in England and elsewhere in the world.

Joyce K. Reynolds was a computer scientist considered an important pioneer of modern-day internet protocols.

British Egyptologist and archaeologist Joyce Tyldesley was born in Bolton, Lancashire, and is currently the President of the Bolton Archaeology and Egyptology Society. Her research career includes the excavation of sites in Britain, Egypt, and Europe, as well as authoring a number of popular books on Egyptology, including several companion books for a variety of television series.

Useful Resources

Discover the meaning and popularity of other English girls’ names on our website.