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Julian Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Julian including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Julian Overview

  • Meaning: The name Julian means “young,” “downy-bearded,” and “shiny.”
  • Gender: It is typically used as a male name but has several female variants.
  • Origin: The name Julian is of Latin origin and first appeared during the Roman Empire.
  • Pronunciation: Julian is most commonly pronounced “JOO-lee-uhn” in English.
  • Popularity: The name is very popular. It ranked 34th for boys born in the United States in 2020.
  • Nicknames: Jay, Jewel, Jools, Jude, Juju, Julek, Julen, Jules, July, Lian
  • Variations: Gillian, Giuliano, Giuliana, Iulian, Julia, Julián, Julianne, Juliano, Julien, Julienne, Julius, Julyan.
  • Namesakes: Julian Edelman (American football player), Julian Lennon (English musician), Julian Marley (Jamaican musician), Julian Quiñones (Colombian footballer), Julian Randall (American poet), Julian Sands (English actor), Julian Winters (American author).

What Does Julian Mean?

The name Julian has Latin roots. It means “youthful,” “downy-bearded” (a more literal indicator of youth), and “shiny.” It was derived from Julius, which itself translated as “devoted to Jove” or “downy-bearded.” Jove is another name for the deity Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Zeus in the pantheon of gods (1).

What Is the Origin of the Name Julian?

The name is Latin and originates from “Julianus,” which comes from “Julius” (2).

The earliest recorded usage of the name is Marcus Antonius Julianus, a treasury officer in Judea in the first century CE. The most famous Julian in ancient Rome is the 4th Century CE Emperor Julian II, known as Julian the Apostate in the Christian community for his support of Hellenism over Christianity.

How Popular Is the Name Julian?

Julian has been in use since the Middle Ages and has been consistently popular throughout the world in its numerous variations.

In the United States, it ranked 34th for boys born in 2020. It does not rank among the one thousand most popular names given to baby girls (3).

How Do I Pronounce Julian?

The name Julian has many different pronunciations based on language and region.

In English, the name Julian is pronounced, “JOO-lee-uhn.”

In Spanish, the name Julián is pronounced, “HYOO-lyahn.”

Italians usually pronounce the name Giuliano as “joo-lee-AH-no.”

In Romanian, the name Iulian is pronounced, “YOO-lee-ahn.”

Slavic languages use the name Yulian and typically pronounce it as “yoo-lee-AHN.”

Is Julian a Boy or Girl Name?

The name Julian is most commonly used as a boy’s name. It does have several variants that can be used as a girl’s name, including Julianne and Julienne.

Variations of Julian

The name Julian can be spelled several different ways for boys and girls. Some variations of the name include:

  • Gillian (feminine, English)
  • Giuliano (Italian)
  • Giuliana (feminine, Italian)
  • Iulian (Romanian)
  • Julia (feminine, Latin)
  • Julián (Spanish)
  • Julianne (Latin, French)
  • Juliano (Spanish)
  • Julien (French)
  • Julienne (feminine, French)
  • Julius (Latin)
  • Julyan (Latin)

Nicknames for Julian

Some possible nicknames for a child named Julian include:

  • Jay
  • Jewel
  • Jools
  • Jude
  • Juju
  • Julek
  • Julen
  • Jules
  • July
  • Lian

Similar Names to Julian

There are many names that sound similar to Julian, such as:

Middle Names for Julian

The name Julian is compatible with others. Some of the best options include:

Sibling Names for Julian

Choosing a sibling name is a process, but, fortunately, Julian pairs well with many. Consider the following:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Julian

The name Julian is shared by many celebrities and well-known public figures, such as:

  • Julian Edelman: American football player.
  • Julian Lennon: English musician, son of musician John Lennon.
  • Julian Marley: Jamaican musician, son of musician Bob Marley.
  • Julian Quiñones: Colombian footballer.
  • Julian Randall: American poet.
  • Julian Sands: English actor.
  • Julian Winters: American author.

Julian in Popular Culture

The name Julian is in several areas of popular culture. Characters and media that feature the name include:

  • Julian the Apostate: character in the 1964 historical novel “Julian” by Gore Vidal.
  • Julian Baker: character in the 2003 American drama series “One Tree Hill.”
  • Dr. Julian Bashir: character in the 1993 American science fiction TV series “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”
  • Julian Craster: character in the 1948 British drama film “The Red Shoes.”
  • Julian Marx: character in the 1994 American black comedy film “Bullets Over Broadway.”
  • Julian McCaffrey: a minor villain in the 2016 American supernatural thriller TV series “Lucifer.”
  • Julian Sark: character in the 2001 American science fiction and thriller TV series “Alias.”
  • Julian: character in the 2001 Canadian mockumentary TV series “Trailer Park Boys.”
  • Julian: a villain in the 2009 American supernatural drama series “The Vampire Diaries.”
  • King Julien: character in Dreamworks’ animated “Madagascar” franchise.

Julian FAQs

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about the name Julian.

What Is the Biblical Meaning of the Name Julian?

The name Julian does not appear in the Bible, though there have been Christian figures named Julian (see below).

What Nationality Is the Name Julian?

Julian comes from Latin but has variants in many nationalities and languages including French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian.

Is There a Saint Julian?

Yes, there were several saints named Julian, including one of the Martyrs of Alexandria in the third century and Julian of Antioch in the 4th Century CE (4).

The most famous Saint Julian was Julian the Hospitaller. While there is confusion about his country of origin and the year of his birth, he is the patron saint of several things, including hospitality workers, hunters, childless people, and travelers hoping to find lodging.

After accidentally fulfilling a prophecy that he would kill his parents, Saint Julian devoted his life to charity in penance. This included building hospices and aiding travelers through perilous areas (5).

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