Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Julia

Julia is the Latin female form of an Old Roman family name Julius (from the gens Julia). Most etymologists believe the name is derived from the Latin *Iovilios meaning “pertaining to or descended from Jove”; Jove being another name for the Roman god Jupiter who was the patron deity of ancient Rome ruling over laws and social order. Other etymologists have surmised that Julius was borrowed from the Greek “ioulos” meaning “downy-bearded” or “soft-haired”. From this perspective, Julia is often associated with the quality of “youthfulness” due to the young age at which a man grows the first soft hairs on his chin (“juvenilis” is Latin for “youthful”). The Julius family of ancient Rome was among the most prominent among the patrician class and claimed direct descent from the mythological Julus (son of Aeneas and ancestor to Romulus & Remus, the legendary founders of Rome in the 8th century B.C.). The most notable name bearer was Gaius Julius Caesar, a Roman general and statesman during the 1st century B.C. made famous for his conquest of Gaul after which he uttered the words: “veni, vidi, vici” (I came, I saw, I conquered). The male names Julius and later Julian (or the female Julia) were rare by the Middle Ages but then experienced a revival in Italy and France during the Renaissance cultural period between the 14th and 17th centuries. Many female versions have spun from this illustrious ancient Roman name: Julia (Latinate, Spanish), Julie (French), Giuliana (Italian) and many elaborations Juliet, Juliette, Julianne, etc. Furthermore, the name Julia shows up in the New Testament briefly [Romans 16:15] as a person greeted by Paul, and it was a name borne by several medieval saints. Today Julia is basking in the sun; the name is popular all over the Western World. It’s a Top 10 choice in Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Catalonia, Austria and Spain. Julia is also a favorite name in Norway, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, America and England. Even Hungarians rank Julia quite high.

All About the Baby Name – Julia

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME JULIA

The number Eight personality has everything to do with power, wealth and abundance. Somehow, this personality has been blessed on the material plane, but their authoritative and problem-solving traits provide evidence that their good fortunes are not just the luck of the lottery. They are well earned. This is the personality of CEOs and high-ranking military personnel. Eights are intensely active, hard-driving individuals. Success is only meaningful to them after a job well-done.  They are remarkable in their ability to see the larger picture right down to the smallest details, and organize a strategy around success. They then have the ability to direct a group around them toward any goal, and realize individual potential to get the most out of their team.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME JULIA

In the United States, the name Julia has long been a crowd-pleaser. There’s barely a time when Julia was not in heavy usage, other than between the 1950’s and 1970’s when the French form “Julie” stole its thunder for awhile. It’s interesting to see that the name’s peak success happened right at the turn of the last two centuries. The name is clearly back in serious vogue, and actually reached the peak of its success at position #27 on the charts in 2001. It’s slipped a little since then, but appears to be kicking around for good if history is any measure. The name is short to spell, but has a long and lovely three-syllable sound. It’s simple, classical and simply exquisite.

Quick Facts

ON JULIA

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

Latin

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

75

PRONUNCIATION:

JEW-lee-ah

SIMPLE MEANING:

Descended from Jove; soft-haired and youthful

Characteristics

OF JULIA

Authoritative

Powerful

Tough

Tenacious

Wealthy

Problem-solver

Achiever

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Julia

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME JULIA

Julia, as a character, is never given a last name in George Orwell’s famous novel 1984 (indeed, the protagonist himself goes by the most common of surnames, “Smith”). Published in 1949 after World War II, it uses a science fiction genre to tell of an ominous future in which a repressed society lives in a bleak and thought-controlled post global catastrophic future. Julia and Winston Smith fall in love, conduct an affair surreptitiously, and try to plan for a future of freedom. The Thought Police are on to them, however, and they are not only betrayed by a supposed friend, they ultimately end up betraying each other and falling victim to the real aims of the Ruling Party, having glimpsed only momentarily what they had been missing all along.

Julia is the sometimes-love of Proteus, one of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, written by William Shakespeare around 1590-1591. Proteus and his friend, Valentine, travel to Milan to broaden their horizons. Proteus at first goes reluctantly, despairing of leaving Julia, then shortly becomes enamored of Silvia, Valentine’s newly found love. Julia follows them, and seeing her man in these circumstances, disguises herself as a lad, and becomes Proteus’ page, Sebastian. After much wandering in the Shakespearean forests of mixed identies, lovers’ betrayals, bands of marauders, and willful children, the initial lovers are finally reunited, though modern day feminists might just have a little trouble with Julia’s acquiescence with the deal.

Julia Bertram is one of four cousins of Fanny Price, the protagonist of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, published in 1814. While Fanny is gentle and virtuous, Julia (along with her sister, Maria) is vapid and self-serving. Three of the four cousins treat their impoverished cousin as their social inferior, while the fourth, Edmund, is kind to her. Needless to say, in the vernacular of the 19th century, “virtue is its own reward”, but it pays off for Fanny. Julia’s fate is not as scandalous as that her sister, who marries one yet runs away with another!

Julia Hurstwod figures in Theodore Dreiser’s famous 1900 novel, Sister Carrie. She is the wronged wife of the second married man with whom Carrie takes up. The first, the real, Mrs. Hurstwood, a savvy and cool social climber, is not one to take such things lying down. He leaves her and his children, but the financial consequences of doing so drive him to embezzlement and eventual ruin.

Lady Julia Flyte is the elder daughter of Lord and Lady Marchmain in Evelyn Waugh’s 1945 classic, Brideshead Revisited. Beautiful, modern and restless, yet pulled in the opposite direction by the strong Catholic allegiances of her family, she is beloved by Charles Ryder, the narrator (perhaps in large part because she so resembles his friend, her brother, Sebastian). Although she marries another, she divorces him and strongly considers marrying Charles. Ultimately, however, she gives in to the spiritual demands of her church and decides to live alone and chaste.

Two Gentlemen of Verona

Popular Songs

ON JULIA

Julia Dream
a song by Pink Floyd

Julia Says
a song by Wet Wet Wet

Julia, We Don't Live in the 60s
a song by The Indelicates

Hey Julia
a song by Robert Palmer

Julia
a song by Conway Twitty

Famous People

NAMED JULIA

Julia Alvarez (novelist)
Julia Child (chef)
Julia Migenes (opera singer)
Julia Roberts (actress)
Julia Grant (U.S. First Lady)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (actress)
Julia Stiles (actress)
Julia Sweeney (actress/comic)
Julia Tyler (U.S. First Lady)
Julia Ward Howe (author of Battle Hymn of the Republic)
Julia Wells (aka Julie Andrews, actress)
Julia Mancuso (Olympic skier)
Julia Dean (actress)
Julia Lennon (mother of John Lennon)
Julia Morgan (architect)
Julia Murney (actress)
Julia Newmeyer (actress)
Julia Ormond (actress)
Julia Alvarez (novelist)
Julia Child (chef)
Julia Migenes (opera singer)
Julia Roberts (actress)
Julia Grant (U.S. First Lady)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (actress)
Julia Stiles (actress)
Julia Sweeney (actress/comic)
Julia Tyler (U.S. First Lady)
Julia Ward Howe (author of Battle Hymn of the Republic)
Julia Wells (aka Julie Andrews, actress)
Julia Mancuso (Olympic skier)
Julia Dean (actress)
Julia Lennon (mother of John Lennon)
Julia Morgan (architect)
Julia Murney (actress)
Julia Newmeyer (actress)
Julia Ormond (actress)
Julia Alvarez (novelist)
Julia Child (chef)
Julia Migenes (opera singer)
Julia Roberts (actress)
Julia Grant (U.S. First Lady)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (actress)
Julia Stiles (actress)
Julia Sweeney (actress/comic)
Julia Tyler (U.S. First Lady)
Julia Ward Howe (author of Battle Hymn of the Republic)
Julia Wells (aka Julie Andrews, actress)
Julia Mancuso (Olympic skier)
Julia Dean (actress)
Julia Lennon (mother of John Lennon)
Julia Morgan (architect)
Julia Murney (actress)
Julia Newmeyer (actress)
Julia Ormond (actress)

Children of Famous People

NAMED JULIA

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Julia

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME JULIA

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Julia