From the common Late Latin name Julianus, a derivative of Julius. In classical times Julianus was a name borne not only by various minor early saints, but also by the Roman emperor Julian ‘the Apostate’, who attempted to return the Roman Empire from institutionalized Christianity to paganism. For many centuries the English name Julian was borne by women as well as men, for example by the Blessed Julian of Norwich (c.1342– after 1413). The differentiation in form between Julian and Gillian did not develop until the 16th century. Julian is still occasionally used as a girl's name. Notable bearers include the British classical guitarist Julian Bream (b. 1933) and the British jazz pianist and bandleader Julian Joseph (b. 1966).
English: 1. (of Norman origin): nickname from Old French beu, bel ‘fair’, ‘lovely’ + chere ‘face’, ‘countenance’. Although it originally meant ‘face’, the word chere later came to mean also ‘demeanor’, ‘disposition’ (hence English cheer), and the nickname may thus also have denoted a person of pleasant, cheerful disposition. There has been some confusion with Bowser. 2. nickname for someone given to belching. See Balch.