Julian Name Meaning

Lastest Updated March 12, 2024
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Julian name meaning might vary, as the name’s origin was shrouded in history. Nevertheless, there are two acceptable roots, either of which gives the name beautiful meanings.

Despite its mysterious roots, Julian sounds incredibly cute and lively. I bet you’ll love waking up your kid by calling this sweet name every morning!

If “Julian” is currently on your baby name list, it’s worth consulting this analysis. This guide also suggests some fantastic sibling and middle names that you can give your kids.

Julian Sounds Brilliant
Julian sounds brilliant, but is it meaningful enough to become your baby name?

An Overview Of The Name Julian

Before going into details, here are some important facts to know about the name:

MeaningJulian means “downy-bearded”, “youthful” in Latin, and “devoted to Jove”, or “father of the sky” in Greek.
OriginLatin, Greek
Pronunciation /Jool-ee-in/
GenderMostly given as a male name.
PopularityJulian is quite a common boy name in the US. It has been in the top 50th choices for boys since 2013. Its highest ranking was 31st on the boy name popularity chart in 2019.
VariationsJulián, Juliano, Julião, Julio, Juliano, Julyan, Julien, Jolyon, Julien, Julius, Giuliano, Iulian/Yulian, Iulian, etc.
NicknamesIan, Jay, Jewel, Jools, Jude, Juju, Julek, Julen, Jule, Jules, Julie, July, Lian, etc.
Similar NamesSimilar names to Julian:
Adrian, Cillian, Daniel, Damian, Eirian, Gabriel, Sebastian, etc.

Similar names to Julian’s female variants:
Elianna, Jewel, Jillian, Julie, Jullian, Leana, Liana, etc.
Sibling Names● For Boys: Archie, Augustus, Gabriel, Jason, Lucius, Nick, etc.
● For Girls:
Alice, Ayla, Evelyn, Marina, Simone, etc.
Middle NamesFor Boys: Alexander, Clarke, Daniel, Patrick, Randall, Roy, Vincent, etc.
● For Girls:
Amelia, Catherine, Charlotte, Clara, Eleanor, Marguerite, Sabrina, etc.

The Name Julian: Origin & Meaning

Julian comes from the Roman name “Julianus”, a derivative of “Julius”. “Julius” is a Roman family name whose origin remains unknown. Possible roots of this name include Greek and Latin.

With its Greek origin, Julian is thought to come from “ιουλος” (ioulos), which means “downy-bearded”. This interpretation connotes youth because young ages are when people grow their first soft hair on their chin. Thus, Julian carries the meaning of “youthful” or “juvenile”.

Regarding its Latin root, it’s derived from the word “Jovilius” for “devoted to Jove”. Jove is a name for the King of Gods Jupiter in ancient Roman mythology. He was known as the god of the sky, so the name Julian ultimately means “father of the sky” (1).

Is Julian A Boy Or Girl Name?

Julian is prominent as a masculine name. In Roman times, it was the name of the last pagan Roman emperor – Julian the Apostate (361 to 363). There was also an important Roman Catholic saint named Julian the Hospitaller living around the same time.

The name first appeared in England in the 13th century, when it was more popular as a girl name. In the US, Julian is among the common boy names in recent years. “Julianne”, “Julia”, “Julianna” and “Julienne” are its female equivalents.

How Popular Is Julian Over Time?

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), Julian is a popular boy’s name in the US. Starting at the 226th spot in 1900, the name was consistently in the top 500 choices for boys up to now.

It has been even more widely used since the early 2000s. This was when Julian landed in the top 100 US most used boy names.

Since then, its popularity has risen steadily, reaching its peak in 31st place in 2019. The latest data shows Julian was America’s 33rd most common name for boys in 2021 (2).

American parents rarely choose Julian as a given name for their baby girls. It didn’t belong to the top 1000 options for female names in the US over the same period.

Julian Spelling Variations

Because Julian has been around for a long time, it has a few variations. Below are just a few examples:

  • Julián (Spanish)
  • Juliano or Julião (Portuguese)
  • Julio (Spanish/Portuguese)
  • Juliano, Julyan, Julien (Greek)
  • Jolyon (Latin)
  • Julien, Julius (French)
  • Giuliano (Italia)
  • Iulian/Yulian (Russian)
  • Iulian (Romanian)

Nicknames And Similar Names

Looking for a nickname to call your little Julian? Here are some cute monikers that sound like “Julian” but are more informal and intimate:

  • Ian
  • Jay
  • Jewel
  • Jools
  • Jude
  • Juju
  • Julek
  • Julen
  • Jule
  • Jules
  • Julie
  • July
  • Lian

Here are extra options similar to “Julian” you can consider. These three-syllable names might have different roots or mean entirely different things:

Adrian/AY-dree-ən/From HadriaLatin
Cillian/ci(l)-lian/Bright-headed, war strife, little churchIrish
Daniel/DAN-yul/God is my judgeHebrew
Damian/deɪmiːən/To tame, subdueGreek
Eirian/Ie-REE-an/Splendid, bright, beautiful, silverWelsh
Gabriel/ˈɡeɪbriəl/God is my strengthHebrew
Sebastian/seh-BASH-tee-uhn/Venerable, reveredGreek, Latin

If you’re considering female variants of Julian, also check out these names that sound similar. Some have close meanings to Julian, while others have different (yet equally pretty) meanings.

Elianna/eli(an)-na/God has answeredHebrew
Jewel/je-wel/Precious stoneEnglish
Julie/j(u)-lie/Jove's child, youthfulFrench, Latin
Leana/le(a)-na/Sunray, to twine aroundFrench
Liana/li(a)-na/To twine aroundFrench

Ideal Sibling Names To Go With Julian

Already decided to go with Julian? Then, take notes of these ideal sibling names to pair with the name.

Matching Sibling Names
If you like Julian, you can plan ahead with a short list of matching sibling names!

For Son

In case you plan to have a child named Julian, you may want to add one or two options below for his future brother:

  • Archie: Archie is a nickname for Archibald used in Middle Ages-era Scotland. It means “bold”, “brave,” and “genuine”. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry, and Megan, chose this name for their first son.
  • Augustus: Augustus means “venerable”, “magnificent”, and “majestic”. It delivers a strong statement and is only for those capable of doing great things.
  • Gabriel: “God is my strength” is the meaning behind this Hebrew name. With such a spiritual meaning, the name can inspire strength and resilience in your newborn.
  • Jason: This is a name from Greek mythology. Jason was the leader of the Argonauts, who went on the quest for Golden Fleece (3). Its meaning is “healer” in Greek.
  • Lucius: Lucius comes from the Latin forename Lucius, which traces back to ancient Rome. It refers to “light”, and appears in many plays written by Shakespeare.
  • Nick: As a diminutive form of “Nicholas”, this Greek boy name translates to “Victory of the people”.

For Daughter

These baby girl names will sound fantastic next to “Julian”. You’ll love their meanings, too:

  • Alice: Alice held the 64th spot in the popularity chart in 2021. With the meaning of “noble” in German and “truth” in Greek, it’s understandable why the name is among parents’ favorites.
  • Ayla: This melodious name has multiple meanings inspired by nature. From Hebrew roots, the meaning is “oak tree”. Meanwhile, it’s also a modern Turkish name that translates to “moon halo” and “moonlight”.
  • Evelyn: Between 2017-2021, Evelyn was among America’s top 10 most used female names. This English-origin name means “desired” and “wished for”.
  • Marina: This adorable name is derived from the Latin word “Marinus”, which translates to “from the sea”.
  • Simone: Simone is gender-neutral, but it’s preferably used as a girl name, especially in French. Originating in Hebrew, it means “He has heard” or “God has heard”. Bonus: Simonne, with an extra “n”, is also a nice alternative.

Middle Names To Go With Julian

The right choice of middle names can give extra depth to the full name. If you’re still looking for inspiration, here are some options that sound good together with “Julian”. Since Julian is mostly used for boys, this short list is made up of exclusively male middle names:

Middle Name That Belongs
Pick a middle name that belongs to your Julian, too.

Try these male middle names with “Julian” to see if they fit. Also, check out their meanings for a perfect full name that accompanies your boy for the rest of his life.

  • Alexander: The name is famously tied to Alexander the Great – one of history’s greatest military commanders. “Defender” or “protector of men” is the Greek translation behind it.
  • Clarke: Stemmed from the Latin word “clericus”, Clarke means “scholar” or “clerk”. If brevity is what you’re looking for in a name, Clarke is a good choice.
  • Daniel: Daniel is a predominantly male name of Hebrew origin. It originated from two words, “din” (to judge) and “el” (God), which ultimately refers to “God is my judge”.
  • Patrick: With its Latin roots, this masculine name means “patrician” or “noble”. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. It used to be such a sacred name in this country that people didn’t adopt it for common use until the 17th century.
  • Randall: This is inherently a badass name for your bundle of joy. With the meaning of “wolf shield”, Randall can instill in your baby the spirit and courage of a warrior.
  • Roy: Roy is a Celtic name that means “red”, since it’s an anglicized version of “ruadh”. The name is also believed to come from the French “roi” – a word for “king”. Whether you have a red-haired boy or want an air of royalty, Roy is a nice option.
  • Vincent: You can consider this Latin name if you seek something that never goes out of style. Referring to “conqueror” and “victorious”, Vincent can be an inspiration for anyone with the name.

Is Julian Common In Popular Culture?

Julian is also commonly used for fictional characters. You’ve probably heard of the name in several TV series and movies:

  • Julian: The main protagonist in the TV series Trailer Park Boys.
  • Julian: Recurring character in the American teen drama TV series – The Vampire Diaries.
  • Julian Baker: Character in American drama series One Tree Hill on The WB.
  • Julian Bashir: Character in TV series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9).
  • Julian Craster: Character in the 1948 British drama The Red Shoes.
  • Julian Konzern: Recurring character in the Japanese role-playing video game Metal Saga.
  • Julian Marx: Character in Bullets Over Broadway the Musical written by Woody Allen.
  • Julian Sark: Recurring character in the action thriller and science fiction TV series Alias.

Famous People Named Julian

There is a long list of notable personalities named Julian. These famous Julains will surely encourage your kid to reach for success in his/her life:

  • Julian Assange (born 1971): Australian publisher, editor, and activist and also known as the founder of Wikileaks in 2006.
  • Julian Casablancas (born 1978): American lead vocalist of The Strokes rock band.
  • Julian Edelman (born 1986): Former American football wide receiver.
  • Julian Lennon (born 1963): English musician, widely known as the son of the Beatles member John Lennon.
  • Julian Marley (born 1975): British Jamaican reggae musician, songwriter, and producer.
  • Julian McMahon (born 1968): Australian actor, also known as the son of a former Prime Minister of Australia, Sir William McMahon.
  • Julian Morris (born 1983): English actor.
  • Julian Quiñones (born 1997): Colombian professional footballer.
  • Julian Sands (born 1958): English actor.


Besides important facts to know, I also answer some questions that might leave you wondering:

Julian is not a biblical name as it doesn’t appear in the Bible. The name comes from “Julius”, a word of Latin/ Greek roots that dates back to ancient Rome.

Many early Saints bear this name. The most notable is Saint Julian the Hospitaller – a legendary Roman Catholic Saint. Other examples include St. Julian of Toledo, St. Julian of Le Mans, Julian of Norwich, Julian of Eclanum, etc.

While Julian is not usually considered a strong name, it neither sounds feminine. I would rate it somewhat on the softer side of masculinity.

With its rich history and beautiful meanings, Julian is a nice option for parents-to-be. If you still feel it’s a bit girly, why not pair it with a powerful middle name?

Julians are confident individuals. They also have an air of elegance and nobility that will impress people. People bearing this name are also known for being brave, practical, and rational.

As mentioned, Julian is a commonly used name by parents in the US. Nevertheless, if you seek something exotic for your daughter, it may fit the bill.

Julian, as a girl name, didn’t make it to the top 1000 choices for baby girls since the 1900s. So, your baby girl will stand out with this name.

Does “Julian” Sound Like A Good Choice?

Julian can be considered a longtime favorite, with its high ranking on the boy name popularity chart. Yet, the name can make a special gift if you decide it for your girls, too. Don’t forget to check amazing middle names and sibling names to pair with Julian.

How do you feel about this name? Feel free to tell me by dropping a comment. Share this post if you like the content. Check out my other articles if you want to find out more wonderful names for your babies!


  1. britannica.com. 2022. Jupiter Roman god
  2. ssa.gov. 2022. The Popularity Of A Name
  3. theoi.com. 2019. What is the Story of Jason and the Golden Fleece?
Helen Doanna

Helen Doanna

Editor in Chief, Educational Specialist, and Senior Content Creator


Child Development Specialist, Child-care Coordinator, Family Support Specialist, Content Writer, Communications Specialist, Educational Consultant, STEAM Teacher


1. University of Social Science and Humanity, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Faculty of Literature and Journalism
  • Focus: In-depth knowledge of Literature, knowledge and skills to perceive, create literature or work in related fields; Basic knowledge of communications.

2. University of Social Science and Humanity, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Education Faculty
  • Focus: Core knowledge of social sciences and humanities – the root for the development of progressive values of education, Multicultural communication in education, Contemporary education in the context of globalization, Learning in the digital technology era, Basic issues of STEAM education, Classroom Management, Special education.

3. Oregon State University, Oregan, US

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Faculty of Human Development and Family Sciences – Child Development
  • Focus: Different stages of development, from infancy to adulthood; Develop a strong foundation for a career in early childhood programs or classrooms; Learn strategies for supporting young children’s development in early childhood settings.

Helen is an experienced educational specialist and content creator, known for her innovative approach to children’s learning. With a background in literature and child development, she composes engaging educational content for SimpleKids.net. Her work emphasizes creativity, engagement, and simplicity, aiming to make learning enjoyable and accessible for children and their families.

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