The biblical Judith, the fourth most popular name in 1940, may be getting ready for a comeback in its full, elegant, if somewhat solemn form. Many of those earlier Judiths were called Judy—some after Judy (born Frances) Garland—preferring it over their more formal proper name. Today, Judith, like Deborah, may have shaken off just enough to appeal to parents looking for a traditional, yet under-the-radar biblical name. And Jude would be a likelier nickname these days than the Judge Judy connection. The name has risen modestly the last two years.
Judith of Bethulia was the singularly beautiful wife of Esau who delivered her people from the invading Assyrians.
Shakespeare named one of his daughters Judith, and Dame Judi Dench was, of course, born Judith. Some other namesakes are novelists Judith Krantz and Judith Rossner and dancer-choreographer Judith Jamison.