(French) form of Julia. This was imported to the English-speaking world in the 1920s, and soon became a great favourite. Its popularity was increased in the 1960s by the fame of the British actresses Julie Harris (b. 1925), Julie Andrews (b. 1935 as Julia Wells), Julie Christie (b. 1940), and, more recently, of Julie Waters (b. 1950).
English and Scottish: patronymic from the medieval personal name Nel or Neal, Anglo-Scandinavian forms of the Gaelic name Niall (see Neill). This was adopted by the Scandinavians in the form Njal and was introduced into northern England and East Anglia by them, rather than being taken directly from Gaelic.