" JOSS" IN SAILORS' SLANG.
[To TEE EDITOR OP THE " SPECTATOR."]
Sta,—Mr. Kipling lately (October 26th) contributed to the papers an article on " The Meaning of Joss" in sailors' lingo. He defines it as " luck, fortune, destiny, the irony of Fate or Nemesis, the greatest of all the battle-gods that move on the waters," When a boat reached port beyond the expectation of the crew they declared it was pure Joss." But the proper meaning of the word is much simpler and more religious than Mr. Kipling supposes. It is borrowed from the Portuguese deos, Spanish dins (Lat. Deus, God), and properly meant overruling Providence. The same is the origin of the " pigeon-English " Joss-house, a Chinese idol-temple, and Joss-stick, a stick of incense used in idol-'worship.—I am,