Julie or Julia?

It’s a question I am asked a lot – and have been asked, for most of my life.

Not by friends or family, though  – everyone calls me Julie (and sometimes, Jule or Jules). So, when asked, even though Julia is my real name, I say “Julie.”

It’s just, well, simpler that way.

“Julia” never quite stuck (except for that brief * period in the 80s, when it did, with everyone at the office; after I quit my job to stay home and raise kids, it got unstuck again).

I don’t mind that it didn’t stick – I’m happy with either. However, I sign my name Julia (usually), and once I began writing books, after fleeting thoughts of adopting a pen name, I decided to sign use Julia.

First, Julia is more popular now than Julie. My evidence: my daughter knew several girls in high school named Julia, yet no one named called Julie.

Second – and this is the more important reason – Julia is my real name,  just like a Cathy might have the real name Catherine, or a Jim be a James.  (Then again, I imagine that most people named Julia are called Julia, the way a Maria is called Maria, not Marie.)

But my parents named me Julia, so there you have it.

There are some famous Julia’s (Julia Child, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Julia Roberts, and even a Saint Julia, I’ve learned), and some famous Julie’s (Julie Andrews, Julie Christie, Julie Newmar). Perhaps, like me, some Julia’s are also, or always, called Julie. Does the last letter really matter that much?

Not really. Make that Julie.


“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”
– W. C. Fields


* Actually, about six years…

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