Short form of Judas, occasionally used in the New Testament and elsewhere to distinguish the apostle Jude (Judas Thaddaeus), to whom one of the Epistles in the New Testament is attributed, from the traitor Judas Iscariot. It is also borne by the central character in Thomas Hardy's gloomy novel Jude the Obscure (1895), a film adaptation of which was released in 1996. The Lennon and McCartney song ‘Hey Jude’ (1968) and the British actor Jude Law (b. 1972) may have contributed to the popularity of the name in recent times. As a girl's name it is a short form of Judith or Judy, and is sometimes used independently.