What does William mean?
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. See also Willard. Playwright William Shakespeare; actors Willem Dafoe, William Hurt, Billy Crudup, Bill Pullman; film director Wim Wenders; poet William Blake; author William Faulkner; American Presidents William H. Harrison, William H. Taft, William McKinley; Bill Clinton.
William has 34 variants: 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.
Affiliated boy name: Bo.more]
How popular is William?
William is a very prominent first name for men (#5 out of 1220, Top 1%) and also a very prominent surname for all people (#1923 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Presented below is the birth name popularity of William for boys. William reached its peak rank of #2 in the U.S. in the 1910s, and is currently at #5. (2014 Birth Statistics)
Below is a graphed comparison of the usage of the boy name William and related names. Bill, Billie, Billy (#794 2 years ago), Bo (#638), Guillermo (#678), Liam (#2), Wiley, Wilhelm, Will (#763), Willard, Williams, Willie (#722), Willis, Willy, Wilmer and Wilson (#594) are the prominent related forms of William (#5 2 years ago) listed in the Top 1000. Other forms, like Willerd, are uncommon. Usage of these forms of William was more pronounced during 1920-1929 (usage of 0.571%) and is somewhat less today (usage 0.2238%, ▼60.8%). William has historically been popular among parents, while Liam has gained in popularity, and Wilhelm has become less contemporary. (2014 Birth Statistics)