Spotlight on: Juliet(te)

Ages ago Grace asked for a spotlight on Juliet(te), specifically to figure out the faithy connections. Juliet is one of my favorite favorite names, and I’m delighted to finally post this spotlight!

So Behind the Name tells us that Juliet is an anglicization of Juliette or Giulietta, which are diminutives of Julie or Giulia, which are the French and Italian variants of Julia, which is the feminine form of Julius, and it’s through Julia and Julius that Juliet(te) gets its faith significance.

As the DMNES points out, Julius is Caesar, and also three popes, one of whom is a saint. Julia is a figure in the New Testament, greeted by Paul and numbered among other “holy ones” (Romans 16:15) as well as several saints (CatholicSaints.Info offers a whole bunch of Sts. and Blds. Julia, as well as several Sts. Julius. Focusing on the holy women, a couple that jump out at me include Bl. Rose-Chretien de Neuville, one of the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne whose religious name was Sr. Julia Louise of Jesus; the more recent St. Giulia Salzano, who had a devotion to Our Lady and the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was canonized by our Pope Benedict; and St. Ursula Ledochowska, whose birth name was Julia — she started the Ursulines of the Sacred Heart and her body is incorrupt. And others! Regarding Juliet specifically, there’s a devastatingly sad Golden Legend entry about St. Juliet, aka Julitta and Juliot, and her son St. Quirine, aka Cyriacus, which may or may not be true.)

So Juliet(te) has some impeccable credentials faith-wise! I suppose the question becomes, do you prefer just Juliet/Juliette, or would you rather use it as a nickname for Julia? I think using Juliet/Juliette as a nickname is pretty rare, but I love the idea of it because it offers more options, and it’s also so sweet! I always think of diminutives as being particularly lovey, so calling a Julia “Juliet” I think makes it seem really like, “Oh my sweet little Julia!”

And which spelling do you prefer? Juliet, Juliette, or even Juliot like the old French? And do you nickname a little Juliet? We’re big nicknamers here, and I think the full Juliet would automatically get shortened to Julie or Jules, which aren’t my favorite … I’ve seen Jilly as a nickname for Julia, which I think is sweet, and I think it could work for Juliet. Or Jet, which is edgy and cool, so if your Juliet decides to punk out when she’s a teen she could have all her friends call her Jet. I love that idea more than I probably should! 😂 ✈✈✈ There’s also the old nickname-from-a-mashup-of-first-and-middle, so Juliet Noelle can become Juno or Junie. But I think, if it were me, I’d really push for the full Juliet, it’s just so beautiful.

Also, Catholic Digest Editor-in-chief Danielle Bean has a Juliette, and mentions the thing any Juliet(te) will have to deal with: Romeo. She says it’s no big deal, and it isn’t to me either, but maybe you all feel differently? Even with the Romeo connection, I feel like it gives Juliet all the good feels from that story (sweet young love, romance) and none of the bad (foolish youth, defiance, disobedience, suicide). Do you agree?

What do you all think of Juliet(te)? Would you or have you named a daughter Juliet(te)? Do any of you know any Julias who go by Juliet(te)?  Do you know any Juliet(te)s who go by a nickname?

27 thoughts on “Spotlight on: Juliet(te)

  1. one of my friends has the most gorgeous sibset for her kids — Madeline, Juliette, Caroline, and new baby Joseph due this summer. I think she liked Felicity of #4 had ended up being a girl.

    I don’t think her Juliette goes by a nickname.

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  2. I Love Juliet it’s such a classic name, my husband has wanted to name a daughter Giulietta for about five years now, unfortunately we haven’t been blessed with a child yet. I always planned on calling her Etta for short because I don’t like Julie or Jules or nicknames either. He has recently changed his top girl name preference, I think maybe too much time has passed and too much heartache associated with his hopes for a little Giulietta.

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  3. EEE! Thank you 🙂

    I think Juliette is my favorite spelling. I like that it at least visually separates it from Romeo and Juliet. I’m gonna be honest, I don’t understand why Romeo and Juliet is so popular. To me, it’s not one of Shakespeare’s bests and other plays (such as The Tempest and As You Like It) deserve more recognition for their better writing and superior themes. William is also my favorite boys name ever and for some reason William and Juliet feels too Shakespeare to me, but William and Juliette doesn’t. Maybe I’m just weird.

    I also don’t think the Romeo and Juliet connection is too strong. But my elementary school had 2 Juliet/Juliettes (one a grade above me, one a grade below me), so everyone around my age in my town knew of the name Juliet before we knew of Romeo and Juliet so it wasn’t like we were being introduced to a new name and we were so used to Juliet/Juliette. I always found that the Romeo and Juliet comments came from adults who never met a real life Juliet/Juliette before. I find that usually “pop culture” (is Romeo and Juliet still pop culture) comments come more from people who are older than the person, not the person’s peers.

    I am in general not a huge nickname person. I think if I did go with one, it would be Jules.

    I have no husband or potential husbands, but if naming were just up to me in the future, Juliette would be under consideration

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  4. I prefer Juliette as well. It is an elegant and classic name (either spelling). And also had thought Etta or Ettie for a nickname is cute. Love all the “Julie” saints and blessed you found.

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  5. Thank you for covering Juliet!! It is our #2 girls name, after the family name Rose. I only have boys so far but our plan has always been to name the first girl Rose and the second Juliet. I’ve always worried that maybe it didn’t feel as Catholicy as our other names. This helps me find the faith connection which means a lot.

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  6. I campaigned hard for our Julianne to be a Juliet/Juliette, but my husband, who likes ALL OTHER FORMS OF JULIA, haha, doesn’t like “et/ette” names at all. It worked out because of our devotion to St. Anne. I personally love the nickname Jules, but as usual, I like your creative nickname suggestions. Our little one has been called Julie once or twice by a grandparent, which has kind of a cute, vintagey feel to it, but I am not sure how i feel about that sticking. Jilly wouldn’t work for us because there is a Jill already in the fam, but that’s an interesting one. My association with Romeo is somewhat negative as I got my degree in English lit with a slight focus on Shakespeare, and the play is really a tragic/negative association for me. But that’s probably not the most common, gut reaction to the reference. And it didn’t stop me from campaigning for it. 😛 I feel like the name is classy and classic enough to still stand on it’s own.

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  7. […] ones I’d come up with were something like CJ for Cajetan Joseph, or perhaps Caj (though I did suggest the possibility of Jet for Juliet(te) and Jetta for Jacinta). Anyway, be sure to check out her post because it’s all about the […]

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  8. […] (2) Juliet Annabelle seems to be a bit of an outlier style-wise—all the other names they’ve got on their list are basically swirling around the same area, but Annabelle has a little pop of color that I just love. Juliet is a style match for it, which is one of my favorite names, and when I saw that Julia is a style match for John, I thought that gave me enough permission to suggest Juliet to Lauren and her hubs. I spotlighted Juliet here. […]

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  9. Just responding now to this after being linked from a newer post, and wanted to share that we have a Juliet Rose (she is 16 months now) and really love her name! It’s sweet without being too trendy or strange and we haven’t met another baby with her name yet. She is our 4th baby and 2nd girl and we had a hard time coming up with the name but got some help from this awesome blog! We have a couple of nicknames for her, but usually end up calling her JuJu or just Juliet 🙂 I love hearing the religious significance of it too.

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