What is Julia named after?

Hi! First, my thought was - Julia…
But (after reading a few messages from this thread) I decided to research some info via Wikipedia. And it’s said that Julia was developed by Jeff Bezanson, Stefan Karpinski, Viral B. Shah.

I don’t buy that “no.”

Me neither.
I like to think one of the programmers was in love with someone named Julia. 妄想

It’s an acronym for “Just use Lisp instead, amigos.”


It’s because @alanedelman claims direct descent from the Julian dynasty.


It’s a portmanteau of Jupyter, Lisp and Ada (correctly pronounced “Ju-lih-ay”), originally suggested by Fernando Pérez as a new backend for Jupyter.


It’s because half of what it does is meaningless.


When I asked ChatGPT, it gave some more made up reasons:

There is no definitive answer as to why the Julia language is called Julia, as the language’s creators have not publicly stated the reason for the name. However, here are some possible reasons that could be associated with the name Julia:

  1. The name Julia could be a reference to Julia Robinson, a prominent mathematician who made significant contributions to the field of computability theory.
  2. Another possible explanation for the name Julia could be that it is an acronym for Just Use Language Instead of Algorithms, which reflects the language’s goal of making complex computations easier to write and understand.
  3. It could also be a nod to the famous computer scientist Grace Hopper, who was known for naming programming languages after women (e.g., COBOL was named after Admiral Grace Hopper’s title at the time, “Commander of the Bureau of Ordnance Language”).
  4. Some people have speculated that the name Julia is derived from the Latin word “Julius,” which means “youthful” or “downy-bearded.” This could reflect the language’s status as a relatively new and innovative programming language.
  5. Alternatively, the name Julia could be a reference to the protagonist of the novel “Julie of the Wolves” by Jean Craighead George, which is about a young girl who learns to survive in the Alaskan wilderness by adapting to her environment. This could be seen as a metaphor for the adaptability and versatility of the Julia language.

This comment in the source seems to confirm it…


In case the joke is lost for some - the linked repo is a fork, that comment does not exist in the original (at least at time of writing).


Justice League In Action

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Searching for the reason of the name Julia for the programming language JUst Leads to Idle Abstraction.


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Quite honestly, I think the name “Julia” was a bad choice by the language design team. It doesn’t mean anything, has no programming or historical relevance, it doesn’t Google well, it’s generic, doesn’t stick in your memory, it’s not funny or clever, etc etc. Many other programming languages are also badly named, but that’s no excuse - it’s still a missed opportunity. Naming is important.

But I’ve used Julia practically daily for the past five years for all kinds of work and hobby uses - I’ve built several energy system optimization models, a GIS package for generating input data for those models and an interactive climate model with integrated web server. I’ve done web scraping, image manipulation and fingerprinting, Covid statistic tracking, election poll trends and general utility scripts. Julia has completely replaced Matlab, C, Python, Perl, GAMS and Ampl, and to some extent Javascript. I’m not a good programmer but I really think it’s the ultimate language for engineering. And in all the time I’ve spent with it there are only two language design choices I find questionable or peculiar or even slightly less than perfect: (1) the use of * for string concatenation (I understand the multiplication analogy, but still) and (2) the name of the language.

I still don’t like “Julia” but I love Julia, so I’ll take it.


Love for Julia has reasons that reason cannot understand…
And Julia’s logo stands out for miles.


Julia Unlocks Limitless Incorrect Acronyms


That’s where my mind goes when I come across the name Julia. Thank you for that.

Julia is names after Julia Chang

Julia Chang (ジュリア・チャン Juria Chan ?) is a video game character in the Tekken series. She is the adopted daughter of Michelle Chang, who taught her how to fight, which is why they share the same fighting style.

Image of Julia Chang

the answer for me is because my love with Julia(lang) began when after spending the first day with her I fell in love and could not stop visiting her … which reminds me some 90’s famous film where “Julia” was one of the main characters …
… Walks like python runs likes C …

It would be great, though, if Julia was named after Gaston Maurice Julia, French Algerian mathematician. Julia sets are cool!

i think Julia, the programming language, is named after Julia Robinson, an American mathematician.

Additionally, “Julia” is a common name in many languages and cultures, so it was chosen as a name that would be easy to remember and pronounce for people all over the world.

Hey @fer2tdt, just a heads up that — even in silly threads like this one — we avoid gendering the Julia programming language.