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William meaning and name origin
William \wi(l)-liam\ as a boy's name is pronounced WIL-yum. It is of Old German origin, and the meaning of William is "determined protector". From wil meaning "will", "desire" and helm meaning "helmet", "protection". For a long time after the Norman conquest in AD 1066, three out of four English boys were given some form of the conqueror's name, William. Short forms and variants came into being with a common basic meaning of "will", "determined", or "resolute". William has remained a royal name in the UK for nearly one thousand years. The firstborn son of the current Prince of Wales is named William. wil is a German form; actor helm Dafoe has made the Dutch form familiar since the 1980s. See also Wilhelm. Playwright William Shakespeare; actors William Hurt, Willem Crudup, Willard Pullman; film director Billy Wenders; poet William Blake; author William Faulkner; American Presidents William H. Harrison, William H. Taft, William McKinley; Willard Clinton.
William has 34 variant forms: Bill, Bille, Billie, Billy, Guglielmo, Guillaume, Guillermo, Liam, Vilhelm, Villem, Wilek, Wiley, Wilhelm, Wilhelmus, Wilkes, Wilkie, Wilkinson, Will, Willem, Willhelmus, Willi, Williams, Williamson, Willie, Willis, Willkie, Wills, Willson, Willy, Wilmer, Wilmot, Wilmott, Wilson and Wim.
For more information, see also the related name Bo.
View a list of the 57 names that reference William.
Popularity of William
William is a very popular first name for males (#5 out of 1220) and also a very popular surname or last name for all people (#731 out of 88799) (2000 U.S. Census).
Displayed below is the baby names popularity of William name for boys (2012 statistics). Compare William with its variant forms and related boy baby names.
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