JOO-lee-un, JOOL-yun, hoo-lee-AN
English from Latin, variation of Julius
"youthful, downy-bearded, or sky father"

Julian Origin and Meaning

The name Julian is a boy's name of English, Latin origin meaning "youthful, downy-bearded, or sky father".

Cool and charming, with plenty of flair and sophistication, Julian manages to strike the balance between being a sensible classic and contemporary choice. Appealingly international, it is no wonder Julian is a rising star.

The name Julian derived from Iulianus, which in turn came from the Roman family name, Julius. Its origins are hard to pin down, but possible roots include the Latin iuvenis, meaning “youthful”; the Greek ioulos, meaning “downy-bearded”; or Jovis, a form of Jupiter, which means “sky father.”

A well-travelled name with plenty of history, Julian, rather fittingly, was the name of St. Julian the Hospitaller, the patron saint of travellers. Other famous Julians include Julian the Apostate, a 4th century Roman emperor, the activist and politician, Julian Bond, the singer and documentary maker, Julian Lennon, and the novelist, Julian Barnes.

Beyond the history books, Julian has also made its mark on popular culture. It was used by Shirley Jackson in her mystery novel, We Have Always Lived in The Castle and by Jessica Love in her award-winning picture book Julian is a Mermaid. It has also been given to characters on TV shows such as “Alias”, “Law & Order”, and BBC “Ghosts”.

Julian is currently a firm favorite in the US, where it has been given to 7000 boys each year and remained in the Top 50 for the last decade. It’s also made waves in Austria, Sweden, Chile, The Netherlands, and Mexico, where it ranks in the Top 100 of each country.

The name holds sway with celebrities too, with Robert De Niro, Lisa Kudrow, Jerry Seinfeld, Paula Patton, Robin Thicke, Daniel Wilcox, and Jennifer Paz among those who’ve chosen it for their sons.

Though significantly more popular for boys, in Medieval England, Julian was considered unisex. A handful of girls are still given the name today, though Julia and Juliet are parents’ current preferences.

If the handsome, versatile Julian appeals to you, but the popularity holds you back, then you could consider one of its variants, such as Guiliano, Jolyon, Julen, or Jules, or perhaps even Jupiter for something very bold.

# 33 in the US

Julian Rank in US Top 1000

# 59 on Nameberry

Julian Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Julian Popularity

Famous People Named Julian

  • Saint Julian the Hospitaller
  • Julian (born Flavius Claudius Julianus)Roman Emperor
  • (John Charles) Julian LennonEnglish musician; son of musician John Lennon
  • Julian SchnabelAmerican painter and film director
  • Julian Paul AssangeAustralian activist and journalist; founder of WikiLeaks
  • Julian Ricardo MarleyJamaican musician, son of musician Bob Marley
  • Julian Dana William McMahonAustralian actor
  • Julian Francis EdelmanAmerican football player
  • Julian VanderveldeAmerican football player
  • Julián Elías GilPuerto Rican actor
  • Julian Alexander KitchenerFellowes, Baron Fellowes of West Stafford, English screenwriter, actor, director and politician
  • Julian Richard Morley SandsEnglish actor
  • Julian Kayle MandrakeAmerican guitarist of Blue October and Canvas
  • Julian Calhoun AdamsAmerican actor
  • Julian DorioAmerican drummer of The Whigs
  • Julian CasablancasAmerican lead singer of The Strokes
  • Julian HawthorneAmerican novelist and journalist, son of novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Julian David MorrisEnglish actor
  • Julian Lamar PoseyAmerican football player
  • Julian David CopeEnglish musician of The Teardrop Explodes
  • Julian Seymour SchwingerAmerican theoretical physicist and Nobel prize winner
  • Julian BarrattEnglish comedian
  • Julian KnowleAustrian tennis player
  • Julian BrandtGerman professional footballer
  • Julian Lloyd WebberEnglish cellist; brother of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Julian Weinrib (b. 1982)son of musician Geddy Lee of Rush
  • Julian Winding (b. 1984)son of actress Brigitte Nielsen and Kasper Winding
  • Julian Messina (b. 1992)son of musician Jim Messina
  • Julian Emerson Dilley (b. 1993)one of the first surviving sextuplets in the U.S.
  • Julian Henry De Niro (b. 1995)son of actor Robert De Niro; twin of brother Aaron Kendrick De Niro
  • (Marcos) Julián FigueroaFernández (b. 1995), son of singer Joan Sebastian and actress/model Maribel Guardia
  • Julian Moses (b. 1995)son of runner Edwin Moses
  • Julián Elías GilJr. (b. 1995), son of actor Julián Gil
  • Julian Naceri (b. 1995)son of actor Samy Naceri
  • Julian Murray Stern (b. 1998)son of actress Lisa Kudrow
  • Julian Corrie Broadus (b. 1999)son of rapper Snoop Dogg
  • Julian Tauevihi (b. 2000)son of actress Stephanie Tauevihi
  • Julian Kal Seinfeld (b. 2003)son of actor/comedian Jerry Seinfeld
  • Julian Exxel (b. 2010)son of singer Tobial Exxel of metal band Edguy
  • Julian Fuego Thicke (b. 2010)son of singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton
  • Julian Daniel Wilcox (b. 2010)son of NFL player Daniel Wilcox
  • Julian Kahn (b. 2011)son of footballer Oliver Kahn
  • Julian Form (b. 2013)son of actress Jordana Brewster and Andrew Form
  • Julian Paz Fedorov (b. 2013)son of singer Anthony Fedorov and actress Jennifer Paz
  • Julian Lidell (b. 2015)son of singer Jamie Lidell
  • Saint Julian Rembert Ravenel (b. 2017)son of TV personalities Kathryn Dennis and Thomas Ravenel of "Southern Charm"

Julian in Pop Culture

  • Julian Caraxcharacter in "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • Julian Bakercharacter on TV's "One Tree Hill"
  • Dr. Julian Bashircharacter on TV's "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"
  • Julian Luthorcharacter in DC Universe
  • Julian Albert Desmondalso known as Dr. Alchemy, character in DC Universe
  • Julian Gregory Dayalso known as Calendar Man, character in DC Universe
  • Julian McGrathlittle boy in movie "Big Daddy"
  • Julian Perkinscharacter in the "Rizzoli and Isles" series by Tess Gerritsen
  • Julian Marquet Srcharacter in V.C. Andrews' Dollanganger Series
  • Julian 'Jory' Janus Marquet Jrcharacter in V.C. Andrews' Dollanganger Series
  • Julian "Jules" Blackthorncharacter in "The Dark Artifices" by Cassandra Clare
  • Juliancharacter in Enid Blyton's "Famous Five" series
  • Julien Mayfaircharacter in Lives of the Mayfair Witches series by Anne Rice
  • Juliancharacter in The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny
  • Juliancharacter in Dave Eggers's "What is the What"
  • Juliannarrator of P.B. Shelley's poem "Julian and Maddalo: A Conversation"
  • Julian Sarkcharacter on TV's "Alias"
  • Julian Moorecharacter in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series
  • Julian "Jules" Wyattmain character in G. A. Henty's, Through Russian Snows
  • Julian Savagecharacter in "Dark Challenge" by Christine Feehan
  • Julianmain character in mockumentary "Trailer Park Boys"
  • Julianmain character in Flannery O'Connor's "Everything That Rises Must Converge"
  • Julian Kayemain character in movie "American Gigolo"
  • Julian "Bean" Delphikicharacter in Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game series
  • Juliancharacter in video game "Little Fighter 2"
  • Julian Kintoborbirth name of Ivo Robotnik, villain in the Sonic the Hedgehog series
  • Julian Marshmain character in musical "42nd Street"
  • Julian Lunacharacter on TV's "Kindred: The Embraced"
  • Juliancharacter in P.D James's "The Children of Men"
  • Julian Thompsonmain character in Nicolas Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives
  • Juliancharacter in Brett Easton Ellis' novel "Less than Zero" and portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr. in the film adaption
  • Julian MorrowGreek professor from Donna Tartt's novel, "The Secret History"
  • Julián Nieves aka El Julícharacter in the novel "Bianca Nieves y los 7 toritos" by Carrie Toth
  • Julian Devoraka plague doctor from the visual novel "The Arcana" by Nix Hydra
  • "Julian"song by Say Lou Lou
  • Julian Jarmancharacter in Elizabeth Enright's children's novel "Gone,Away Lake"
  • Juliana character in the mobile game “High School Story”
  • Julian Starcharacter in the anime/manga "Cardcaptors"

Julian in Nameberry Blog Posts