The meaning of the name “William” is: “Will, desire, A strong and resolute protector”.
Additional information: The masculine name William is a compound name of Germanic origin. It is a compound of two elements – wil, which means desire, and helm, which means helmet or protection, giving William the meaning ‘desire to protect’ or ‘resolute protection’. It was introduced by the Normans into England by William the Conqueror (1027-1087), who invaded England and became the first Norman king of England. It became one of the most popular boy names in England during the Medieval Period, as it was adopted by the English. Three other Kings of England bore the boy name William, various rulers of the Netherlands, two emperors of Germany, 4 Presidents of USA and also the eldest son of Prince Charles of Whales, among others.
It is an easy name to shorten for nicknames, with common ones being Will, Willy, Bill, Billy, and Liam, the latter being more popular in Ireland. Feminine variants of William are less common, and tend to derive from the more Germanic name Wilhelm: Wilma, Willa, and Wilhelmina. Other foreign variants beside the German Wilhelm are Guillaume (French), Guillermo (Spanish), and Gwillym (Welsh). William is sometimes misspelled as ‘Wiliam’, ‘Willam’, and ‘Willaim’.
The name William has remained popular since the Norman conquest of England in 1066, right through the Middle Ages and into more modern times. Since 1880, the lowest William has fallen in the top thousand boys names in the USA is twentieth, in 1990 and 1995. It was the 10th most popular boy name is USA in 2006, climbing up to number 5 in 2012.By 2014, it had climbed back up to being the fifth most popular name. Before 1988, William had been a fairly popular feminine name in the USA, but since then it hasn’t come back into the top thousand names. In England and Wales, William is just as popular as a boys name; it was the eighth most popular name for boys in 2013.
William is a name associated with British royalty (three kings and the current Duke of Cambridge, future King of England) and American Presidents (William ‘Bill’ Clinton, William Taft, William McKinley, and William Harrison).
The famous bearers of the name includes the English poet and playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616), author of 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Macbeth', 'Hamlet', William Butler Yeats (Irish poet), William Kidd (a 17th century pirate), William Wordsworth (English poet), and William James Adams Jr. (American singer, better known as will.i.am).
William has given its name to Sweet Williams, which are associated with young lovers; a number of ballads are written about lovers named Sweet William, such as the legend of Black-Eyed Susan and Sweet William, and Fair Margaret and Sweet William.
Pronunciation: (WIL yum) Form of:Wilhelm Celebrity Names & Famous real-life people:
HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
William Henry Harrison, 9th president of the USA
William McKinley, 25th President of the USA
William Howard Taft, 27th President of the USA
William "Bill" Clinton, 42nd president of the USA
William "Bill" Gates, businessman
William Faulkner, iconic writer
William "Bill" Paxton, actor
William Bradley "Brad" Pitt, actor
William H. Macy, actor
William "Will" Farel, actor/ comedian
William Hurt, actor
William Shatner, actor
William G. Morgan, inventor of volleyball
William Frawley, actor
William Shakespeare, Shakespearean Playwrite
William Butler Yeats, Irish poet
Dr. William "Bill" Cosby Jr, comedian and actor
William Ray "Billy Ray" Cyrus, actor and country singer.
Considering William as a Baby Name?
The first thing you should know if you are considering William for your baby's name is that in most countries all over the world the name William is a boy name.
The name William is of German origin, and is used mostly in English speaking countries but also in a few other countries and languages of the world.
If you consider naming your baby William we recommend you take note of the special meaning and history of the name as your baby’s name will play a big role in its life and your baby will hear it spoken every day. Searching for a name is a very important and fun process as it’s the very first gift you will give to your baby. Many people believe that the name can affect success in life, through their children's working career and other circumstances, so they choose more “respectable” names or name meanings as they believe that the name meaning reflects the personality of the child.
William Name Meaning
The meaning of William is “Will, desire, A strong and resolute protector”. Keep in mind that many names may have different meanings in other countries and languages, so be careful that the name that you choose doesn’t mean something bad or unpleasant. Search comprehensively and find the name meaning of William and its name origin or of any other name in our database. Also note the spelling and the pronunciation of the name William and check the initials of the name with your last name to discover how it looks and sounds. The history and meaning of the name William is fascinating, learn more about it. (If you know more meanings of the name and you would like to contribute click here to submit another name meaning).
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Name William Categories
The name William is in the following categories: American Names, Australian Names, British Names, Canadian Names, Classic Names, Compound Names, English Names, French Names, German Names, Germanic Names, Harry Potter Names, Middle Names, New Zealand Names, Norman Names, Pirate Names, Popular Names, President Names, Royal Names, Surnames Names, Teutonic Names. (If you would like to suggest one or more categories for the name, click here). We have plenty of different baby name categories to search for special meanings plus popular and unique names, search our database before choosing but also note that baby name categories designed to help you and not to be an influential factor when choosing a name. Instead, we recommend that you pay a greater attention to the origin and meaning of the name William. Read our baby name articles for useful tips regarding baby names and naming your baby. If you are thinking of giving your baby the beautiful name William, spread the love and share this with your friends.
Popularity of the Name William
Below you will find the popularity of the baby name William displayed annually, from 1880 to the present day in our name popularity chart. Hover over or click on the dots that represent a year to see how many babies were given the name for that year, for both genders, if available.
William Boy Name Popularity Chart
William Girl Name Popularity Chart
Note:The data above is from the Social Security Administrator of United States, (more info here) from Social Security card applications for births in US for every name, from 1880 up to the present year. The gender associated with the name might be incorrect, as the data presents the record applications without being edited for errors. The name's popularity and ranking is announced annually, so the data for this year will not be available until next year. The more babies that are given a name, the higher popularity ranking the name receives. For names with the same popularity, the tie is solved by assigning popularity rank in alphabetical order. This means that if two or more names have the same popularity their rankings may differ significantly, as they are set in alphabetical order. If a name has less than five occurrences, the SSA excludes it from the provided data to protect privacy.
If you’re not sure yet, see our wide selection of both boy names and girl names all over the world to find the ideal name for your new born baby. We offer a comprehensive and meaningful list of popular names and cool names along with the name's origin, meaning, pronunciation, popularity and additional information.
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