by Julia Buckley
This website has some interesting history of names, including mine.
Julia is a common name in Hungary, and my grandmother, Juliana Wigh, is my namesake (and I hers). At the time that my parents named me in 1964, they were under the impression that my grandmother's full name was Julia, so that became my name. It was not particularly popular in the United States--in fact, my mother said she picked it because it was unusual.
In almost twenty years of schooling, I never encountered another Julia; there were a couple of Julies, but that name has different origins.
Thanks (I think) to the popularity of Julia Roberts, Julia is now ranked much higher in the United States, as this graph shows. It was at its highest popularity in 1880.
When I was about eleven, my father found out, by looking at some old papers of my grandmother's, that her full name was not Julia, but Juliana. He was exasperated with her (my grandma had a way of exasperating people). "Mom," he said. "Why didn't you ever tell me your full name? We named Julia after you!"
She shrugged. "Yah. Julia, Juliana."
She didn't see it as an important
distinction, but I had a tiny identity crisis, thinking of the name I didn't have, and the girl I could have been, had I been christened Juliana. I started writing "Juliana Rohaly" on my school papers, and I demanded that my siblings call me Juliana, as well.
But the phase didn't last. Ultimately I was born Julia and I remain Julia to this day--and we think of my grandmother as Julia, too. (In Hungarian, the name is pronounced Yoolia, and the diminutive is Juliska--pronounced Yulishka--and that is the only thing my grandmother ever called me. It stands for something along the lines of "Little Julia," which I was to her, as the youngest in the family).
Another interesting note about my name is that when I was christened, my mother's sister Marianna, who lived in Germany with all of my mother's family, was quite smitten with the name. In Germany, too, it was unusual; a few years later when Marianna--or Tante Nanne, as we called her--had her first child, she named her Julia. So now I have a cousin Julia (pronounced Yoolia) who is my namesake.
And the family name lives on!
What's an interesting story behind your name? Did the website tell you anything you didn't already know?
Image courtesy of www.railroadsignals.us/letters.htm