Feminine form of the old Roman family name Julius. A woman called Julia is mentioned in Paul's Epistle to the Romans (Romans 16:15), and the name was borne by numerous early saints. Its frequency increased with the vogue for classical names in the 18th century, and it continues to enjoy considerable popularity, although the recent introduction of Julie to the English-speaking world has reduced this somewhat. Well-known bearers include the British actress Julia Foster (b. 1941) and American actress Julia Roberts (b. 1967 as Julie Fiona Roberts).